Prince William and Kate in Pakistan

Islamabad: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, arrived in Pakistan late Monday on their first official visit of the country.

“Their Royal Highnesses (TRH) The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Pakistan today on their first official visit of the country. Throughout their visit The Duke and Duchess will tour the country to see the dynamic, aspirational and modern Pakistan. From the modern leafy capital Islamabad, to the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the North, and the rugged border regions to the West, the visit will span over 1000km, and will take in Pakistan’s rich culture, its diverse communities, and its beautiful landscapes,” the British High Commission announced.

“TRH’s programme will include visiting projects which empower young people, and communities that are rapidly responding and adapting to the effects of climate change. Over the course of the visit, TRH will meet a wide variety of people, including children and young people, leaders from government, faiths leaders, business and the charity sector, inspiring conservationists, and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars,” the statement said.

The UK’s links with Pakistan are extensive, and TRH are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan, it added.

The royal couple will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi on Tuesday. Following their meeting with Khan and Alvi, the royal couple will pay a visit to Lahore on October 16 and Chitral on October 17.

The visit comes 13 years after Charles and Camilla – the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwell – toured the country in 2006. Pakistan still vividly remembers the late Princess Diana’s visit in 1996.

“The UK’s links with Pakistan are extensive, and Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan,” read a statement by the royal couple’s spokesperson on Oct 4.

During the course of their visit, Prince William and Kate “will pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan” but the larger focus will remain “on showcasing Pakistan as it is today – a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation”, read the statement.

The handout, released by Kensington Palace, currently the official residence of the Duke and Duchess, said that the tour will encompass “the modern leafy capital Islamabad, the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the North, and the rugged border regions to the West”.

“The visit will span over 1,000km, and will take in Pakistan’s rich culture, its diverse communities, and it’s beautiful landscapes,” it added.

They will also interact with organisations “which empower young people and ensure they have the best possible start in life”.

“Access to quality education, particularly to girls and young women is one of the UK’s top priorities in Pakistan,” mentioned the statement.

Moreover, they are expected to meet with “a wide variety of people, including children and young people, leaders from government, business and the charity sector, inspiring conservationists, and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars.”

A particular attention will be paid to climate change issues affecting Pakistan and the positive work being undertaken to combat these challenges.

The official statement also said that throughout the tour the couple would visit programmes which empower young people and see how communities in Pakistan are responding and adapting to the effects of climate change.

They will also “spend time understanding the complex security picture in Pakistan”. Furthermore, meetings will be held with UK and Pakistan military personnel “who are sharing expertise to improve security”.

“They will learn more about the challenges and opportunities, both of the past and today. The UK has been a key partner for Pakistan, and the Duke and Duchess will meet UK and Pakistan military personnel who are sharing expertise to improve security.”

Earlier this month, the Kensington Palace had described Prince William and Kate Middleton’s upcoming visit to Pakistan as their “most complex” tour to date.

“This will be their Royal Highnesses’ first official visit to Pakistan. Whilst The Duke and Duchess’s programme will pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan, it will largely focus on showcasing Pakistan as it is today – a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation.”

“This is the most complex tour undertaken by the Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations…,” the statement issued by Kensington Palace added.