Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

William and Kate arrive in Pakistan for five-day visit

Kate was given a bouquet of flowers as she and the duke arrived.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Pakistan (Owen Humphreys/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Pakistan (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Emma Bowden, PA, in Pakistan

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have touched down in Pakistan amid heightened security for a five-day visit which seeks to strengthen ties between London and Islamabad.

William and Kate were greeted by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and his wife at the Pakistani Air Force base in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.

The couple arrived in an RAF Voyager aircraft from Brize Norton shortly after 9.30pm local time on Monday.

A large security presence has been drafted in to secure their safety during the tour, which has been billed as the royal couple’s “most complex” to date.

It comes at a time of political tensions between Pakistan and India over the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Kate – wearing an ombre blue Catherine Walker gown in a traditional style – was given a bouquet of flowers by a young girl as she and the duke left the aircraft.

The designer was favoured by William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Details of the couple’s engagements are being kept under wraps until the day due to security considerations, Kensington Palace said.

bpanews_c0f2ede9-1b6a-438c-9978-3b840428eb44_embedded246921447
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Pakistan (Owen Humphreys/PA)

There have been a number of security incidents in recent months, including a bombing outside a shrine in central Lahore, as well as an attack by armed militants on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan.

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.

William and Kate will travel across some 1,000km of the country, including the capital Islamabad, the city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the north and border regions to the west.

Their itinerary includes a range of occasions and locations.

bpanews_c0f2ede9-1b6a-438c-9978-3b840428eb44_embedded246921077
The tour seeks to strengthen ties between the UK and Pakistan (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The royal couple are expected to meet leaders from government and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars, as well as visiting communities responding to climate change.

They will also spend time visiting education programmes which empower young people.

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

With Brexit looming, it comes as London hopes to strengthen its international relationships, while Islamabad is keen to promote itself as a tourist destination amid concerns over security and violence.

William will be hoping to create his own legacy in a country previously visited by both of his parents.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall travelled to the country in 2006, which was seen as one of the most perilous royal foreign tours for some time, and Diana made the trip several times for her charity work.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph