UK

Prince William and Kate to visit Pakistan in autumn

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit north Wales Image copyright Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Pakistan this autumn, the first royals to travel to the Islamic republic in more than 13 years.

Details of the trip will be given in "due course", Kensington Palace said.

The last royals to visit Pakistan were the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2006.

Prince William's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, travelled to Pakistan several times for charity work during her lifetime.

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Image caption Charles and Camilla visit the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore in 2006

In her last visit to the republic in 1997, the Queen sparked controversy when she used an address to parliament in Islamabad to call on Pakistan and India to settle their differences.

The high commissioner for Pakistan, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, welcomed Kensington Palace's announcement of an autumn visit, saying: "The people of Pakistan still cherish and fondly recall the visits of Her Majesty The Queen to Pakistan during 1961 and 1997.

"The upcoming royal visit is a reflection of the importance the United Kingdom attaches to its relations with Pakistan."

He added the countries "enjoy historical links which both sides wish to strengthen further".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The Queen and the then-President of Pakistan Leghari Farooq in October 1997
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Image caption Diana, Princess of Wales, at a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1997

There have been a number of security incidents in Pakistan in recent months, including a bombing outside a shrine in Lahore that killed nine people and an attack by armed militants on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan.

The Foreign Office warns on its website "terrorists are very likely to try and carry out attacks in Pakistan".

"There's a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi," it says.

"Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted.

It advises against all travel to a number of areas in Pakistan, including the city of Peshawar, northern and western Balochistan, the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit, and the federally administered tribal areas.

More than 1.5 million people of Pakistani origin currently live in the UK and 270,000 British nationals visit the country every year.

Earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they will tour southern Africa in the autumn.

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