HC Deb 09 April 1986 vol 95 c142W
Mr. Wareing

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent visit to Pakistan.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

I visited Pakistan from 2–5 April at the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In addition to my host, Mr. Yaqub Khan, I met President Zia, the Prime Minister Mr. Junego, members of his Government and other leading figures in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. I was glad to be able to visit Pakistan so soon after the lifting of martial law and to see for myself the encouraging steps being taken towards the restoration of full democracy. My discussions with my hosts covered a wide range of international and bilateral issues; including in particular the joint action being taken by both our Governments to control drug trafficking. I also had a full exchange of views with the Pakistan Government on the situation in Afghanistan. We agreed that the key to a solution of that tragic problem is the early withdrawal of Soviet troops to allow self-determination for Afghanistan and the return of the refugees to their homeland, as called for in successive United Nations resolutions. I was able to reaffirm our commitment to supporting Pakistan's economic development through our aid programme and to the strengthening of our commercial relations.

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