By Muhammad Luqman
Mayor of British capital, London Sadiq Khan has reached Pakistan on a goodwill visit to promote his ‘London is Open’ campaign.
He entered Pakistan from India via the Wagah Border Crossing. Khan was received on the Pakistani side of the border by Lahore Mayor Col (retd) Mubashar Javed, British High Commissioner in Pakistan, Thomas Drew and senior government officials.
Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Shehbaz Sharif tweeted out a welcome to the mayor as well.
“We welcome Mayor @SadiqKhan from the historic city of London to the historic city of Lahore ..,” the chief minister posted.
Later, Khan called on Shehbaz at his Model Town office. Senior provincial government officials, as well as members of the business community, were present in the meeting.
Shehbaz and Sadiq discussed bilateral ties. Welcoming the London mayor, Shehbaz reportedly said the visit will enhance business activities between the two countries.
Sadiq Khan was earlier in India for around three days where he held meetings with government officials, members of the civil society and entertainment industry.
The mayor visited Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India, before heading to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.
The London mayor would meet senior politicians as well key figures from the Pakistani cultural and financial sectors.
Bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2.5bn and only two cities in the world provide more investment in Pakistan than London.
The mayor was expected to be accompanied to Pakistan by senior business executives from London who are looking for trade deals or investment opportunities.
In May last year, Khan defied all odds and won the race for London mayor, beating the government-supported multi-billionaire Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith who is also the brother of Pakistani politician Imran Khan’s ex-wife Jemima Khan.
Khan, son of Pakistani bus driver, defeated Goldsmith by 44 to 35 per cent in the first preference votes and easily managed to win in the second preference.
By Muhammad Luqman