By Adam Thomson
On Thursday, I visited the Police Lines headquarters in Islamabad. I was accompanying the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who wanted to pay his respects to the fallen martyrs of the Pakistani police service and to publicly recognise their sacrifices in serving Pakistan and its citizens. Mr Hague laid a wreath at the police monument and met the families of policemen who have lost their lives as a result of terrorist atrocities. Since 2001 over 3,500 policemen have been killed in Pakistan by terrorists. Many more civilians have been killed or injured as a result of terrorist atrocities. Meeting the brave and courageous families of these innocent victims really brought home to me and my Minister how great the sacrifices are that the people of Pakistan are making.
Sadly, today I am again reminded of these sacrifices after two attacks on the police in two days. The suicide bomber who attacked a police station in Kolachi town, near Dera Ismail Khan town on Saturday killed ten security personnel and injured three policemen. A second attack, which targeted the Gaddafi police post near Chowk Kumharanwala in Multan on Sunday left seven people injured, including three policemen. My thoughts and sympathies are with those who have been killed and injured, and with their families. The UK will continue to stand with Pakistan to fight the scourge of terrorism, which destroys so many lives in Pakistan and across the world.
Following his meeting on Thursday with acting Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, William Hague repeated the determination that the UK and Pakistan share to defeat terrorism and violent extremism. He said that “Pakistan is on the front line of terrorism, making bigger sacrifices against terrorism than any other country on the planet, and it is right that the UK should stand with you to combat terrorism.” I echo those words.
William Hague will be holding a Q and A on twitter on Wednesday 29 June and is inviting questions following his visit to Pakistan. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the work the UK is doing with Pakistan, on countering terrorism and in many other areas. I encourage you to tweet your questions to his twitter name @WilliamJHague and use the hashtag #askFS at 7pm Pakistan time on Wednesday 29 June. The Foreign Secretary will answer as many questions as possible and you can follow the Q&A on their twitter channel, ukinpakistan