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Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the outcomes of her recent visit to Pakistan were; and if she will make a statement. (203939)

[holding answer 7 May 2008]: My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary visited Pakistan from 7 to 8 April. She had bilateral talks with Prime Minister Yusuf Gillani, Interior Adviser Rehman Malik, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Information Minister, Sherry Rahman. She also delivered a keynote speech at the Pakistan National Council of Arts on counter-terrorism, met UK Borders Agency staff serving overseas and was briefed on the British high commission's programme to tackle forced marriage.

On counter-terrorism issues we agreed to an early meeting of our Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime and a joint workshop on extremism to be held in Pakistan. On migration issues, Pakistan agreed to continue to honour our bilateral MOU on returns to remove those persons already in the United Kingdom, once the European Community Readmission Agreement is signed. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has also invited Interior Adviser Malik to visit the UK later this year.