Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met King Charles III in London on Sunday and offered his condolences over the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
A day earlier, the premier had departed for London to represent Pakistan at the longest-serving British monarch’s funeral. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Special Assistant to the PM Tariq Fatemi accompanied the premier.
Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 at Balmoral, her Scottish Highland retreat, on September 8 after a year of declining health. She will be laid to rest on Monday (today), after a grand state funeral attended by leaders from around the world, and a historic last ceremonial journey through the packed streets of London.
According to Radio Pakistan, PM Shehbaz met the king during a reception hosted by the latter for visiting dignitaries.
“Extending condolences over the passing of his mother Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the prime minister observed that the late monarch was a source of inspiration and strength for generations of Commonwealth citizens,” the report said.
The prime minister recalled that the people of Pakistan had fond memories of the late queen’s two visits to the country and that the bond of affection between the royal family and the Pakistani nation had only strengthened with time.
On behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, PM Shehbaz conveyed best wishes to the king on his accession to the throne and expressed the hope that he would carry on the legacy of his mother in further strengthening friendship among Commonwealth nations.
“The people of Pakistan held His Majesty in high esteem and looked forward to welcoming him in Pakistan at the earliest opportunity,” the report quoted the premier as saying.
PM Shehbaz also thanked the British monarch for the royal family’s expression of sympathy and support in the wake of unprecedented floods.
“The appeal for help and the response from both the British government and public were deeply appreciated in Pakistan,” he said.
After attending the funeral, PM Shehbaz will head to the United States to participate in the debate of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which will be held from September 20 to September 26.