London Mayor Sadiq Khan arrives in Islamabad
After an overnight stay in Lahore, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Thursday arrived in Islamabad ─ the second of three cities he will visit during his trip to Pakistan.
Addressing the media, the mayor said that the message he is trying to deliver during his visit to Pakistan is that “London is open” ─ the title of a campaign launched by Khan to show that the British capital is united and open for businesses, and to the world, following the EU referendum.
“London is open to everyone; to Pakistanis, to businessmen and women, to those who want to study or invest.”
“London is the greatest city in the world and one of the reasons why i think so is that we respect each other, whether you are Muslim, Hindu, Jew or Christian,” Khan said.
“You are not simply tolerated [in London]. You are respected, celebrated and embraced.”
The mayor said that the “London promise” guarantees that “if you work hard, you are given a helping hand and can achieve anything.”
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He added that his message is simple: “Come to London”.
“Leaders of the Pakistani community have studied in the UK and that means they have warm relations with London,” the mayor said.
Khan said went on to say that he is proud to be the mayor of London, to be British, Muslim and of Pakistani origin, all of which he said had contributed to who he is.
“The way I have been treated in Pakistan ─ the warmth, hospitality and the friendship ─ will stay with me forever.”
Khan is the first-ever mayor of London to make an official visit to Pakistan. He arrived in Lahore yesterday after a three-day visit to India. During his stay in Pakistan, he is expected to visit Karachi as well.
Khan’s visits to India and Pakistan are part of the #LondonIsOpen campaign. The trip is aimed at strengthening trade and investment links as well as promoting cultural exchange.