Prince Charles in Lahore to promote harmony
Charles, travelling with his wife, Camilla also praised the efforts of UK soldiers in Afghanistan.india Updated: Nov 02, 2006 18:45 IST
Britain's Prince Charles on Thursday arrived in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore to promote interfaith harmony and praise the efforts of UK soldiers in Afghanistan.
Charles, travelling with his wife, Camilla, amid tight security, visited an Islamic mosque, Sikh temple and Christian cathedral during his trip to Lahore.
The royal couple also visited the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal, a philosopher and poet who in 1930 first voiced the idea of creating a majority Muslim state of Pakistan, separating it from what was then British-ruled India.
Charles told a banquet held in his honour in Islamabad yesterday, that Britain's troops in neighbouring Afghanistan were fighting "extremists" to make the world safer.
"Our armed forces are carrying out an incredibly difficult and dangerous task often involving terrible sacrifice," Charles said while speaking alongside Pakistani President Gen Pervez Musharraf.
"They are working, Mr President, not just in the interests of our two nations, but of all nations and we can take enormous pride in them."
Britain has nearly 4,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan's Helmand province as part of a NATO-led security force in the country's restive south.
British and Pakistan officials have billed Charles' five-day visit, which began Sunday, as an attempt to strengthen respect between different religious faiths, boost bilateral relations between Britain and Pakistan, and inspect recovery efforts following last year's devastating earthquake that killed more than 80,000 and left three million homeless.