UK’s Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, the Right Honourable Francis Maude MP, met Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Sartaj Aziz
He also held meetings with a range of senior Pakistani figures, including the Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Anusha Rahman, and the Secretary of the Planning and Development, Hassan Nawaz Tarar.
Mr. Maude also met Javed Aslam, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, to share the British Government’s experience of driving a programme of Civil Service reform, increasing public sector efficiency and improving digital service delivery. This programme has led to significant improvements in UK government efficiency, saving £14.3 billion for taxpayers last year alone. The UK has also increased its openness, transparency and accountability, including through its membership of the Open Government Partnership, of which Britain was a founder member.
On the two-month anniversary of the tragic attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Mr. Maude expressed solidarity with the affected families. Emphasising that the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against terrorism, Mr. Maude emphasised the UK’s assistance to Pakistan. This assistance includes helping Pakistan develop a counter terrorism strategy, providing expertise and equipment to tackle the scourge of improvised explosive devices and improving the security of the country’s critical infrastructure.
Later Mr. Maude met a group of young parliamentarians - the future leaders of Pakistan - to hear their views on how to make Pakistan’s government more transparent and approachable in its dealings with citizens.
Speaking in Islamabad, Mr. Maude said:
This is my first visit to Pakistan and I have been struck by how the UK and Pakistan are joined by strong bonds of friendship and partnership. The UK Government is committed to working closely with Pakistan through intensive, practical cooperation on government and economic reforms, trade and investment. The regular dialogue between both governments at the highest levels through the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue underscores our unbreakable partnership.
Whenever I go abroad I find that governments are facing similar challenges – people living longer, greater public expectations for high-quality services, and a lack of money. The UK Government’s long-term economic plan has seen us save an unprecedented £14.3 billion last year alone through efficiency measures and reforming our Civil Service. We are digitising public services and have moved over 300 websites to our single web domain, GOV.UK through the Open Government Partnership, an international transparency organisation, we are making the UK more accountable, open and responsive to our citizens. Despite our progress we know there’s so much more to do - we want to share best practice and find new ways of working with our international partners.