This evening, guests from all over Pakistan gathered at the British High Commission in Islamabad, to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 88th birthday.
Around 1,000 people attended the red carpet celebrations, including representatives from the Government of Pakistan, political parties, the military, and members of the diplomatic corps, civil society, the media and business.
2014 marks the 62th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne, when she became both the British Sovereign and the Head of the Commonwealth. The British High Commissioner, His Excellency Philip Barton CMG OBE, and the Chief Guest, Pakistan National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor to Prime Minister, Sartaj Aziz toasted each other’s Heads of State, while the national anthems of both countries were played, to mark this important occasion.
Speaking on the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, His Excellency Philip Barton, said:
Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday is an occasion to reflect on the close ties between the UK and Pakistan. Pakistan came into being only shortly before Her Majesty became Queen and the enduring partnership between Pakistan and the UK has taken shape during her reign. It is a partnership that is set to become even more important as we continue to work together for the mutual prosperity and security of both our countries.
The UK has a very deep and broad relationship with Pakistan, from sporting and cultural links to education and business ties. Trade is central to our relationship. We are also investing heavily in Pakistan’s education sector, with a particular focus on girls’ education. Around one hundred thousand Pakistani students take British exams organised by the British Council every year, providing Pakistani young people with internationally recognised qualifications. By 2015, UK aid will help benefit four million children in school.
These continue to be challenging times for Pakistan and we pay tribute to its people who have sacrificed so much. The UK stands behind Pakistan and its people as it tackles the evil of terrorism.
Our two countries are longstanding partners and have a long history. But our connections are as much about the present and the future - the one million people with close ties to Pakistan living in Britain today and the hundreds of thousands of our citizens who travel back and forth each year to work, study or, simply for enjoyment.
Notes for editors
Photos of the event will be made available on the British High Commission Flickr site later in the evening. Contact: Press Attaché, British High Commission, Islamabad; tel. 0300 500 5306