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UK's Prince Charles to visit Pakistan

The heir to the British throne and his wife will carry out a week-long, high-profile visit at the end of October.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 11:04 IST

Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall are to visit Pakistan next month, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

A royal spokesman refused to confirm the visit for security reasons, but London's Evening Standard said that the heir to the throne and Camilla would carry out a week-long, high-profile visit at the end of October.

The spokesman toldthe agencythat royal visits abroad are not normally announced until a few weeks before they take place.

"We would never confirm or deny it -- it's a question of security," he said.

The newspaper said that Charles had agreed to undertake the trip because he is seen as an "ideal figurehead to visit a Muslim country at the forefront of the fight against extremism."

Charles has a long-held interest in religion and, in 1994, pledged to be the "defender of faiths" when he becomes king, not "defender of the faith", as British monarchs are traditionally titled.

The Evening Standard quoted unnamed senior diplomatic sources saying that talks have taken place with the Pakistani government to ensure that the royal couple receive full protection.

It added that a possible visit to Afghanistan at the same time was vetoed on security grounds.

First Published: Sep 14, 2006 11:04 IST