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Lunch with Imran Khan for William and Kate’s first day in Pakistan

William and Kate touched down in Pakistan on Monday evening.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Pakistan on Monday (Owen Humphreys/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Pakistan on Monday (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Emma Bowden, PA, in Islamabad, Pakistan

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to have lunch with Prime Minister Imran Khan on their first full day of engagements in Pakistan.

William and Kate touched down at the Pakistani Air Force base in Rawalpindi, near capital Islamabad, on Monday evening.

The royal couple are expected to begin Tuesday by visiting a government-run school in Islamabad, meeting students between the ages of four and 18.

William and Kate will hear about how pupils are benefiting from the Teach for Pakistan programme – a training scheme modelled on the UK’s Teach First scheme.

The British High Commission said UK aid in Pakistan has helped more than 5.5 million girls get a quality education since 2011.

Continuing with the theme of education, the duke and duchess will join children from three local schools at the Margalla Hills, which sit in the foothills of the Himalayas.

The couple will then travel to the Presidential Palace for an official engagement with President Arif Alvi, before meeting with Mr Khan at his official residence in Islamabad.

Former international cricketing star Mr Khan was a friend of William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Diana visited a cancer hospital in Lahore as a guest of Mr Khan and his then wife, Jemima Goldsmith, in May 1997 – just three months before she died.

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The couple’s tour will wrap up on Friday (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Following a private lunch with Mr Khan, the couple will attend a special reception hosted by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, where the duke is expected to make a speech.

In his address, William is expected to say that the UK will continue to support the Commonwealth country as a “key partner and friend” during a visit which hopes to strengthen ties between the two nations.

“We share unique bonds and so it will always be in our best interests for Pakistan to succeed,” the duke is expected to say.

“You can always rely on the UK to keep playing an important role as a key partner and friend.”

We share unique bonds and so it will always be in our best interests for Pakistan to succeed Duke of Cambridge

William and Kate will have the opportunity to meet with well-known individuals from business, the creative arts, the Pakistan music and film industry, and members of government at the reception.

The five-day visit, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will be their “most complex” tour to date, according to Kensington Palace, due to security concerns and political tensions in the region.

Details of engagements are being released each day due to security concerns, the palace added.

The tour comes amid heightened political tensions between neighbouring countries Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir.

Skirmishes between the two sides at the de-facto border have increased this year, causing troop and civilian casualties.

The tour, which wraps up on Friday, hopes to strengthen the relationship between the UK and Pakistan.

With Brexit looming, London is aiming to consolidate its international relationships with the visit, while Islamabad is keen to promote itself as a tourist destination amid concerns over security.

William and Kate are the first royals to officially visit the Commonwealth country since the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the region in 2006 – which was seen as the most perilous royal tour for some time.

The duke will be hoping to create his own legacy in a country previously visited by both of his parents, as his mother made the trip several times for her charity work.

PA

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