Zardari on UK visit, to discuss Swat | world | Hindustan Times
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Zardari on UK visit, to discuss Swat

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday embarked on a visit to Britain to discuss among other things reconstruction efforts in the militancy-hit country even as the UK, the US and Western allies met in Istanbul to draft a "Marshall Plan for Pakistan".

world Updated: Aug 25, 2009 23:28 IST

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday embarked on a visit to Britain to discuss among other things reconstruction efforts in the militancy-hit country even as the UK, the US and Western allies met in Istanbul to draft a "Marshall Plan for Pakistan".

"President Zardari is coming on a private visit and his programme is being worked out," Islamabad's High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Samsul Hasan said.

Zardari, who left for UK hours after he returned from an official visit to China, will meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his cabinet colleagues, sources said.

During his meetings with the British leadership, Zardari will discuss the regional situation and Pakistan's strategy for reconstruction and rehabilitation in Swat and other parts of Malakand division following the eviction of militants.

The upcoming meeting of 'Friends of Democratic Pakistan' to be held in New York next month will also figure in his meeting with British leaders like Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

World leaders meeting in Istanbul focused on helping Pakistan to rebuild infrastructure in those areas affected by the war, rewarding Islamabad for its repulsion of the Taliban. More than $5 billion has been already pledged.

Ministers from Japan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, China, Australia and EU officials met to agree funding and draft in experts for a series of projects to support reconstruction in the troubled Swat valley.