News story

"Pakistan will remain a very important security partner"

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said Pakistan is a very important partner to the UK and the rest of the world in combating terrorism.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

“They’ve lost a lot of their own security forces to terrorism. They’re fighting it very hard in their own country and of course they’re playing a key role in Afghanistan. Pakistan will remain a very important security partner for us and for the international community.”

The leader of al Qaeda Osama Bin Laden was killed in a United States operation in Pakistan on 1 May.

Earlier the Prime Minister said that it’s too early to judge how much the Pakistani authorities knew about Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts:

“Clearly Bin Laden had a support system within Pakistan; we don’t yet know what that support system included, but what we do know is the leaders of that country, democratically elected, want to join with us in fighting terror in Pakistan and around the world. So we should work with the democratic forces of Pakistan to make sure that all of that country is doing everything it can to combat terrorism and extremism, as their political leaders want to.”

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt advised British nationals to exercise extra vigilance while abroad:

“We’ve not needed to change the general threat level to United Kingdom citizens. It is just a matter of common sense at the moment. There might be places that they should avoid in terms of large crowds, potential demonstrations and things like that, and so we’re just warning UK citizens first of all to look at the Foreign Office website and the travel advice and just be extra careful.”

He said that there is no new information that’s led to a specific threat to British nationals:

“We’re trying to be sensible and cautious in the light of events yesterday. There is a concern that there might be some form of reprisal so we’ve heightened the security around all our Embassies and Consulates around the world, particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan but we’ve nothing to indicate a specific threat.”

Published 3 May 2011