‘Historical ties’: A look back at past visits to Pakistan by British royals – World

"I feel at home in Karachi because we share the same culture and we understand each other well" – Reina Isabel II, 1997.

Prince William and Kate Middleton of Great Britain, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will arrive in Islamabad today (October 14) on a five-day visit, which aims to further improve ties between the two countries.

The royal couple, according to

The British High Commissioner in Pakistan, Thomas Drew, will visit the "breadth and depth" of Pakistan and, like his predecessors, William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II; his mother, Princess Diana; and his father, Prince Charles, the couple hopes to meet as many Pakistanis as possible during the visit.

"I have always been impressed by the heat in Pakistan towards the royal family and the good memories of previous visits," Drew said before the couple arrived.

Here, Dawn.com Check out the past visits to Pakistan of British royalty.

1961: The Queen's first visit to the former domain.

Queen Isabel, 34 at the time, made a royal tour of the countries of the Far East in 1961, which included visits to Pakistan, India, Iran and Nepal.

Her state visit to Pakistan, which since 1956 had become a republic, lasted from February 1 to 16, during which she was accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, and visited Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta , Lahore and the northern areas of the country.

The cover of a special supplement taken by Dawn on the Queen's first arrival in Pakistan.


When the royal couple landed in Karachi on February 1 at 11:37 a.m., they were met at the airport with a warm handshake by the then president, Mohammad Ayub Khan.

A 20-minute ceremony followed, beginning with the boom of a royal salute of 21 guns. The terminal was full of spectators eager to take a look at the royal couple.

"The Queen wore a chartreuse dress with a waist belt, a matching feather hat, silver gray gloves and shoes, a three-string pearl necklace and pearl earrings. She wore a silver gray bag and wore a diamond brooch in left shoulder "to Dawn report of the arrival of the queen documented at the time.

The royal couple was given a royal greeting of 100 men as they stood on a carpeted day with President Ayub. A naval band also played the national anthems of both countries.

The two were driven from the airport to the President's House and during the trip, they found cheers, music and flowers. The Queen, standing next to the president in a cream-colored convertible Cadillac, smiled gracefully and greeted the cheerful crowd.

The royal couple stayed in the presidential residence until their departure to Peshawar on February 4.

During their stay, a series of commitments were held in Karachi in honor of the couple.

According to a program described by DawnThe first day included a visit to the Quaid mausoleum, a visit of the Duke to the municipality of Korangi and a luxurious state banquet by the president.

In the Mazar-i-Quaid, large crowds had gathered near the entrance and on both sides of the driveway. As the Queen approached, the servants dressed in white "quickly put white shoe covers on the Queen's shoes before she entered the small yellow-painted room that contained the Mazar," he said. Dawn. Once inside, the Queen placed a large floral crown.

Meanwhile, the Duke inspected the municipality of Korangi on a visit that lasted 50 minutes. He was shown around the neighborhood, the health center, the elementary school and the market area.

"In the market, the duke was attracted by an ordinary broom used in a Pakistani home and a & # 39;SDR& # 39 ;. He raised the broom and peeked at & # 39;SDR& # 39 ;, "a Dawn said report of the visit.

That night, at the state banquet, the Queen described Pakistan as "one of the powers in the world of Islam" and "one of the great nations of the Commonwealth." Pakistan "is thus in a unique position," he said, expressing his faith that Pakistan's "contribution to international understanding will increase from year to year."

A view of the cover of Dawn a day after the Queen's speech at the banquet on February 2, 1961.

The following day's events included a naval review at the Pakistan Navy shipyard, a citizen reception at the Frere Hall Gardens, interaction with selected members of the press and a dinner of the Commonwealth High Commissioners on Runnymede Road in Clifton .

At the reception of the Frere Hall, attended by 5,000 citizens cheering on February 2, the Queen paid tribute to the residents of the city for having faced and resolved so many problems with courage, recognizing that many of the people were new to the city and they had arrived with nothing but their hands to work.

"That Karachi survived this invasion, continued and finally absorbed it in such arduous and remarkable circumstances, it is one of Pakistan's most amazing achievements," he said.

He paused for a moment after the speech and then suddenly said: "Aap hazraat ka bahut bahut shukria".

His words in Urdu met with prolonged applause from the crowd. Ayub got up and clapped, laughing out loud.

Scenes of the first day of the Queen's stay in Karachi, as seen in a Dawn edition of February 2, 1961.

Other activities in which the royal couple participated included a ladies reception, interaction with journalists, a duck hunt (which saw Ayub disregarding any formality with the duke and bagging most of the ducks) and meetings with a Ismailis delegation and a group of Princes from western Pakistan.


Shortly after arriving in Peshawar on February 4, the couple flew to Quetta, which they were originally scheduled to visit after Karachi. The trip had been postponed due to reports of heavy snowfall, but was reconsidered once the weather cleared.

From the airport, the queen and the duke were taken to the residence of Quetta. The entire seven-mile route was covered in lumps with the Union Jack and Pakistan flag deployed at short intervals and 30,000 people greeting royal visitors.

Once at the residence, the queen planted a pine tree, the same place where her grandfather, King George V, had planted a chinar tree, 56 years before her visit.

During their brief visit to the capital of Balochistan, about six hours, Sardar Mohammad Khan Jogezai, a leader of Pathan, and Sardar Khair Bux Khan Marri, a leader of Baloch, presented the Queen and the Duke also with two sheep each . The gesture was a long custom that reflects affection for distinguished guests.

The royal couple also visited Quetta Staff College, where they had coffee with students and officers in the university disaster.

The queen and the duke flew back to Peshawar that night.


In Peshawar, the Queen and the Duke were invited to a banquet at the Government House by Malik Amir Mohammad Khan, the governor of the then West Pakistan, attended by 80 prominent members of society.

The next morning, the royal couple attended a religious service in the Church of San Juan, the oldest in the region. The Queen, wearing a pink dress and a matching hat, was received by the Assistant Bishop of Lahore, the Vicar of Peshawar and other clerics.

During the service, the Duke read a lesson from the New Testament after which a sermon from the assistant bishop of Lahore was delivered.

The next day was described by Dawn as the busiest on the tour; He saw the Queen pay a visit to the University of Peshawar, the Khyber Pass, the Pak-Afghanistan Torkham and Landi Kotal border point.

On the way to Landi Kotal, the Queen stopped at some places to closely observe the badges of the British regiment, inscribed on barren rocks by soldiers during their stay there.

He had lunch at the Khyber rifle disaster and then visited the Warsak multipurpose dam.


The royal couple enjoyed a weekend of festivities in Lahore while attending a reception and a service at Lahore Cathedral; participated in a fair; and visited the tomb of Allama Iqbal, Fort Lahore, Shalimar Gardens and Badshahi Mosque. A great dinner was also held by the Army in his honor.

There was even a "torch tattoo" performance by the rangers of western Pakistan, as well as fireworks in the walled city. Prince Felipe also received a polo game and the two participated in the national horse show, a nod to the Queen's love for horses and the Duke's interest in polo.


1991: Princess Diana's first visit

Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales, arrived in Pakistan on her first official solo tour on September 23, 1991. Andrew Morton, who wrote her biography, described her as a person who traveled a lot on the four-day visit.

"Before leaving, I remember saying how nervous she was, knowing that some courtiers inside the Palace were eager to see her fall on her face," said a report from Royal Central.

During the course of his visit, he met and dined with then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had organized a banquet in his honor at the House of the Prime Minister.

Princess Diana talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before dinner at the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad on September 23, 1991, while Kulsum Nawaz Sharif watches. – Reuters / Archive
Princess Diana talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before dinner at the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad on September 23, 1991.

He expressed hope that the close ties between Britain and Pakistan "will continue to flourish" and expressed his happiness on behalf of Great Britain for having joined the Commonwealth after an absence of 17 years.

Princess Diana meets a group of Pakistani women, performers of popular songs, at a women's center in Islamabad. – Reuters / Archive

His commitments included a visit to a family welfare center in the town of Noorpurshahan adjacent to Islamabad, and a trip to the Pakistan Women's Association complex (APWA). He also met 49 young academics who had studied in Britain with scholarships funded by the British and Pakistani governments in a simple function held in Daman-i-Koh.

The princess called the then president, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, with whom she discussed matters of mutual interest. Later, he and his wife organized a dinner in his honor at the Aiwan-i-Sadar.

The Princess of Wales poses with the imam of the Badshahi Mosque while visiting the Badshahi Mosque on September 27, 1991.

On a busy six-hour visit to Lahore, he visited Kinnaird College directly from the airport, followed by a visit to the centenary King Edward Medical College. He also visited the Millat Tractor Factory, where he inaugurated a new assembly plant, the Allama Iqbal mazar, the Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort.

His next stop was Chitral, where he saw a program of traditional folk dances, including the famous Kafir Kalash. He attended a reception organized in his honor by the prime minister.

He also visited the Khyber Pass and interacted with members of the Khyber Rifles and the Chitral Scouts.

Later, he visited Fort Chitral, where he met the former Mehtar (ruler), Prince Saiful Mulk Nasir, before returning to Islamabad.


1996: The & # 39; queen of hearts & # 39; help raise funds for Shaukat Khanum

The princess's subsequent visit was February 20-22, 1996, conducted at the invitation of Imran Khan to help raise funds for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. Diana was accompanied by Lady Annabel Goldsmith, the mother of Khan's wife at that time, Jemima Khan, and Jemima's cousin, Cosima Somerset.

She flew to Islamabad on the eve of February 20 aboard a private plane. It was received at the airport by Khan and Jemima.

That night he had dinner at a restaurant in the Gulberg area of ​​Lahore with Khan's family and close friends.

The next day, Diana visited the hospital to supervise her facilities and interact with the doctors and patients there. He also attended an Eid Milan party at the hospital.

Lady Diana offers a gift to a child affected by cancer after the variety show presented by the children at Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital on February 21, 1996 in Lahore.

From his time in the hospital, Dawn He reported: "A variety program was organized at the Eid Milan party where children suffering from cancer had funny parodies, jokes and danced to the rhythm of popular songs. Lady Diana showed a lot of affection and love for distressed children.

"He took some children in his lap and sat down to caress them. He also gave the children sweets and waved and smiled at those who were sitting some distance from her. Later, he distributed gifts among them."

He then visited a new department store in the Gulberg area of ​​Lahore, before attending a fundraising dinner. It was reported that the event secured a considerable sum of Rs2.5 million.

According to Kensington Palace, his official residence, the visit was part of his continuing interest and concern for the sick and careless for society.

She remained a guest of Imran Khan during her stay. Due to the personal nature of his visit, he did not attend any official function. However, he received government security.

Lady Diana feeds a child affected by cancer during the variety show presented by the children at the Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital on February 21, 1996.

At that time, his visit caused speculation that it was a contempt for the then Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, and his government for not giving Imran Khan enough time to air.

However, a statement from the hospital issued said: "Lady Diana has arranged a private visit to the hospital to meet with children with cancer and lend her support to the charity. There is absolutely no political aspect to her visit and the media's attempt. creating a scandal is both unfair and unjustified. "


1997: Diana's final visit

Lady Diana arrived in Pakistan on her third visit in May 1997 with the aim of launching an appeal to the donation fund for the Imran Khan hospital and cancer research center.

He landed in Lahore on the morning of May 22, after having traveled with Khan's wife, Jemima, and his son Suleman Isa Khan. They were met at the airport by the then minister of education of Punjab, Chaudhry Mohammad Iqbal and Khan.

They took her to Khan's residence in Zaman Park, where she remained during her visit. That afternoon, the hospital management organized a lunch attended by about 55 doctors and senior officials.

The appeal was launched at a ceremony the following night chaired by the Prime Minister of Punjab at that time, Shahbaz Sharif. The event was followed by a fundraising dinner.

Diana went to London the next day, marking her last and brief visit to Pakistan. She died in a car accident in Paris only three months later.


1997: Queen's second visit coincides with Pakistan's golden jubilee

The Queen then visited Pakistan 36 years later, when Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was president and Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister, and the country celebrated 50 years of independence.

This time, his visit was much shorter, six days, from October 7. Again she was accompanied by her husband, Prince Felipe.

According to a real press release of the time, the couple arrived in Chaklala, Islamabad, where a greeting of 21 weapons was heard when they left the plane. The queen and the duke were received by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gohar Ayub Khan.

They were taken to Aiwan-i-Sadar, where they were received by President Leghari and inspected an honor guard.

Queen Elizabeth II inspects the honor guard in the presidency during the welcome ceremony after her arrival in Islamabad on October 7, 1997.
Queen Elizabeth II (R) of Great Britain and President Farooq Ahmed Leghari share a joke in the presidency before going to a private meeting, in Islamabad, on October 7, 1997.

At noon, he met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his residence.

The queen and the duke that day visited the Shah Faisal mosque. "During her visit, the Queen kept her hat covered with a whitish dupatta as a sign of respect while surrounding it," he wrote Dawn.

It also opened a new commercial bloc in the British High Commission, "a manifestation of the desire of the British government to further promote its commercial and economic relations with Pakistan," according to Queen's press secretary Geoffrey Crawford, who informed Pakistanis and foreign. journalists a day before his arrival.

Queen Elizabeth II wears a scarf and socks during her visit to the great Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, on October 7, 1997.

Later in the day, the royal couple attended a reception for media representatives in the High Commission.

That night, the president organized a royal banquet at the Presidential Palace for the Queen and the Duke. An investiture ceremony was also held during which the Queen was awarded the highest civil award, Nishan-i-Pakistan, and the Duke was awarded the Nishan-i-Imtiaz.

"Nishan-i-Pakistan has been awarded in recognition of Queen Elizabeth's outstanding contribution to the consolidation of ties between Pakistan and Britain and her commitment to the causes facing Commonwealth developing countries," he said. Dawn at the time.

Queen Elizabeth II receives the highest civilian award in Pakistan & # 39; Nishan-i-Pakistan & # 39; by President Farooq Leghari during the awards ceremony at the presidency in Islamabad, on October 7, 1997.

Leghari and Sharif were also awarded the Grand Cross of the Knight of the Order of the Bath (GCB) and the Grand Cross of the Knight of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG), respectively.

It was noted at that time that the banquet had provided a rare opportunity for political rivals to sit together. Benazir Bhutto, whose government had been dismissed, also showed up, since it was she who, as prime minister, extended the invitation to the Queen to visit Pakistan.

Speaking at the banquet, Queen Elizabeth said that Pakistan and the United Kingdom enjoyed a truly rich relationship, founded on a myriad of personal and institutional commitments. "I trust his future and wish Pakistan the best in the next fifty years."

Queen Elizabeth II speaks at a banquet organized by President Farooq Leghari (R) in her honor in the presidency of Islamabad on October 7, 1997.

He also paid tribute to Princess Diana's humanitarian work during his visits to Pakistan and thanked the people for their comprehensive response to his death.

The highlight of the visit came the next day, when Queen Elizabeth addressed a joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate.

What is more interesting, in the context of the current tensions between India and Pakistan, is that the Queen at that time had called for renewed efforts between the two countries to end the "historical disagreements." She had emphasized that with the lifting of barriers between the two largest nations of the subcontinent, the real potential of the region would be unleashed.

"It is a pleasure for the friends of both countries to see the commitment they both made this year to resolve contentious problems through conversations. Reconciliation will take time, but the effort must be made," the Queen said in her speech at the joint session of the parliament.

The royal couple, on the same day, also opened an exhibition of the British Council "Traditions of respect" (on the influence of Islam in the West) at the Islamabad Convention Center. They offered lunch at the residence of the British High Commissioner and spent the afternoon visiting the Rawalpindi Cricket Club, where they met the Pakistani and South African test teams and watched part of the game, according to the Court Circular issued at that time.

Part of their activities also included meeting with war veterans, placing a wreath in the Commonwealth War Graveyard Cemetery, attending a reception in the gardens of the British High Commissioner's residence and watching "Beat Retreat by the Royal Marine Band. "

During the course of their visit, the royal couple also visited Karachi, where they attended a reception at the Governor's House, followed by a lunch organized by the governor of Sindh. The queen opened a British trade show at a local hotel and the Duke opened a $ 450 million ICI plant in Port Bin Qasim.

"I feel at home in Karachi because we share the same culture and understand each other well," said the Queen.

After placing the wreaths in the Quaid mausoleum, the two left for Lahore, where they were received by Prime Minister Sharif, who offered a great banquet in his honor at Lahore Fort.

Queen Isabel speaks with the students during a visit to the National College of Arts on October 10, 1997.

The next day, the Queen visited the Lahore National College of Arts, where she saw the miniature art studio and the sculpture studio. NCA students also organized a string puppet show on the occasion.

The Queen paid a visit to the Kim & # 39; s Gun monument, after which the Bishop of Raiwind received her at the Christ Church School in Pakistan.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, is bathed with petals by Chitrali children at the Aga Khan school in Bilphok on October 10, 1997.

A lunch in his honor was organized by the governor of Punjab. He also visited the British Council, where he met with people from different walks of life.

The queen and the duke flew back to Islamabad. Before the end of his visit to Pakistan, the Duke was photographed visiting the Aga Khan school in the Bilphok area of ​​Chitral.


2006: Prince of Wales visits the Pakistan earthquake

Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla Parker, the Duchess of Cornwall, were the next members of British royalty to tour Pakistan, from October 29 to November 3, 2006.

Upon arrival at the Chaklala air base, the royal couple was received by the then federal minister for women's development and youth affairs, Sumaira Malik, along with the Pakistan High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom for Pakistan, Mark Lyall Grant and other senior officials. officials

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales arrive at Islamabad International Airport on a week-long tour of the country on October 29, 2006, in Islamabad.

The two were taken directly to Punjab House, where they were staying during their stay in Islamabad.

The next day's commitments included a meeting with then President Pervez Musharraf and his wife Sehba Musharraf in the presidency. The royal couple also met with then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his wife Rukhsana Aziz at the prime minister's residence.

Prince Charles and Camilla meet with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his wife Rukhsana Aziz before visiting an international youth business event at the Prime Minister's house on October 30, 2006, in Islamabad.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla also attended the launch of the Prince & # 39; s Youth Business International (YBI) plan for Pakistan, which aimed to help disadvantaged youth in Pakistan to become entrepreneurs, held at the residence of the Prime Minister . There, the couple interacted with some young people, saw local products and listened to pop songs in a performance by singers Hadiqa Kiani and Shehzad Roy.

While they were seeing the exhibition stands installed, the royal couple were given gifts that included a chadar, a Chitrali wool cap and a decorated truck model.

Prince Charles receives a truck when Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his wife and Duchess Camilla observe the Prime Minister's House on October 30, 2006 in Islamabad.

"For my wife and me, it is really a great joy to be here with you in Pakistan," the Prince said on the occasion. "It has taken me almost 58 years to contact you and it's not for lack of attempts, I can tell you."

Prince Charles makes a speech during a visit to an international youth business event at the House of the Prime Minister on October 30, 2006 in Islamabad.

That night, the couple attended a reception organized by the British High Commissioner at that time, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, at the prime minister's residence.

A visit to Peshawar that was due the next day, October 31, was canceled due to security concerns after an explosion in Bajaur.

The royal couple visited the Fatima Jinnah Women's University (FJWU) in Rawalpindi, where the Prince spoke about the urgent need to recognize the importance of understanding between religions. "Religion does not teach us to harbor enmity among us," he said at the time.

The two also visited the World Heritage Site of Taxila.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla talk to students at Fatima Jinnah University during their visit to Rawalpindi on October 31, 2006.
Charles and Camilla pass by a Buddha while touring Jaulian, an archeological World Heritage site, on October 31, 2006, in Taxila, near Islamabad.

The next day, on November 1, the two visited Patika, a village in Muzaffarabad affected by the earthquake that hit Pakistan the previous year.

The Prince and the Duchess saw first-hand the reconstruction and aid work in progress in the city and its surroundings, supervised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and local authorities.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visit a collapsed house in the village of Patika, affected by the earthquake, about 20 km northeast of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, on November 1, 2006.

Hundreds of citizens rushed to welcome the royal couple as they walked through the bazaar.

They visited a bridge that was rebuilt with financial help from Britain. The couple also visited a government high school that had been destroyed by the earthquake and whose 103 students and three teachers had been killed.

Later, the two went to a veterinary hospital established by The Brooke, a charity based in the United Kingdom.

That night, they attended a banquet organized by Musharraf and his wife in the presidency.

The next day, the royal couple visited Lahore, where they deposited a wreath of flowers in the tomb of Allama Iqbal and also went to the Badshahi Mosque. The royal couple then visited the Gurdwara of Arjan Dev and the Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjit Singh where they spoke with members of the Sikh community.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visit the historic Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, November 2, 2006.

Later in the day, they went to Lahore Cathedral where they met members of the Anglican community. They were also invited to a reception in the garden organized by the bishop of the city, Dr. Alexander John Malik.

The dinner, that night, was organized by then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Prince Charles walks with the bishop of Lahore, Alexander John Malik, in front of a row of schoolgirls during a visit to the Cathedral Church in Lahore on November 2, 2006.

On the last day of their trip, on November 3, the royal couple went to Hunza, where they visited the Altit village to examine the development work carried out by the Aga Khan Development Network.

"The main objective of the visit was to explore the ways of participation of the Prince of Wales Development Organization in development activities in the northern areas of Pakistan, especially in the field of preservation and restoration of historic buildings", said a Dawn Report of the time.

Accompanied by Aga Khan, who recently received Prince William and Kate in London, Charles and Camilla also visited the Nangtsoq village in Skardu. There, they mixed with the townspeople and expressed interest in their traditional way of life.

Camilla, Prince Charles and Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, tour the organic village of Nangtsoq on November 3, 2006 in Skardu.

They had the opportunity to visit several houses and interact with the local people busy in their routine tasks.

The royal couple was informed about the civilization, customs and culture of the people of Baltistan. They also tried some food at a Balti food stand.


Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1509328/historical-ties-a-look-back-at-past-visits-to-pakistan-by-british-royals

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