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1,000 policemen on guard as Pakistan welcomes Prince William and Kate Middleton -

1,000 policemen on guard as Pakistan welcomes Prince William and Kate Middleton

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It will be the first trip to Pakistan by members of the royal family since Prince Charles and his wife Camilla came in 2006. Pakistan, which had witnessed several terror attacks, has deployed more than 1,000 commandos for the couple’s protection

Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive in Pakistan’s  capital of Islamabad on Monday night for a five-day official visit that will see them tour over 1,000km of the South Asian country amid tight security.

A senior official at Pakistan’s Ministry of the Interior said more than 1,000 commandos would provide “round-the-clock security cover” for Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, in addition to “thousands” of policemen and rangers who will also be on duty.

The royal couple’s five-day visit comes as Britain [2]  steps up its bilateral ties with allies ahead of the country’s impending departure from the European Union [3] this month, while Pakistan tries to boost the confidence of investors to help shore up its struggling economy.

It will be the first royal visit to Pakistan in more than a decade, after William’s father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited in 2006.

While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official Twitter account, Kensington Palace, released a short video on Sunday showing preparations for the trip, few specific details have been released due to security concerns.

Pakistan has been the site of several terror attacks and has been blamed by

India [5]

for harbouring militants. Islamabad is also being pressured to crackdown on terrorism financing and money laundering, or risk being put on a blacklist by the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog.

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A statement from their communications secretary earlier this month said the couple, who are not bringing their three children with them, would visit the city of Lahore, the countryside in northern Pakistan and the rugged border regions to the west.

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The programme would cover how communities in Pakistan are responding to the effects of climate change, feature programmes that empower young people and give quality education to girls and give them an understanding of the security challenges the country faces, the statement said.

“This is the most complex tour undertaken by the Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations,” the statement added.

According to local officials, the royal couple will attend an event at Pakistan’s first national art gallery, the National Council of Arts, after they arrive. The event will highlight the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan.

On Tuesday, the couple will meet President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is expected to return to the country on Monday night from a tour of Iran and Saudi Arabia to diffuse rising tensions in the Gulf.

On Wednesday, the pair will travel to Lahore, the provincial capital city of Pakistan’s Punjab province, on a special plane.

The duo will visit the lush green mountainous city of Chitral in Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan region on last leg of their trip on October 17.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, told the South China Morning Post on Sunday: “Pakistan is excited to welcome the royal couple. I’m also looking forward to meet the royals.”

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Pakistan’s former High Commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, said the security situation in Pakistan had improved while Federal Minister for the Interior Brigadier Ijaz Shah added: “We have taken elaborate security measures. The royal couple and the British authorities must not be worried about their security and safety.”

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