For the first time in 12 years, members of the Royal Family, Prince William and his wife Catherine, have arrived in Pakistan.

For the first time in 12 years, members of the Royal Family, Prince William and his wife Catherine, have arrived in Pakistan.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived, without their children, at Nur Khan air base, near to Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, soon after 9.30pm local time onboard a Royal Air Force (RAF) Voyager plane from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, UK. The couple were greeted by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmoud Qureshi.

Catherine looked elegant in an aqua shalwar kameez, a traditional Pakistani outfit, comprised of a long dress and trousers, made by UK clothes designer Catherine Walker.

Royal Family Pakistan 2019

It is the first visit by the Royal Family to Pakistan in 12 years. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla flew to Pakistan in November 2006 to met survivors of the deadly 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, where more than 80,000 were killed, more than 100,000 injured and more than three million people left homeless, in October 2005.

More than 1,000 police officers will provide what is being called a “ring of steel” around the royal couple on a five-day tour, which will include Islamabad, the city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the north and border regions to the west.

Kensington Palace said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s itinerary will “pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan” and will “largely focus on showcasing Pakistan as it is today – a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation”. Their trip also involves visiting programs “which empower young people, and organisations that help ensure they have the best possible start in life”.

Terrorism poses a significant threat to the country. The Financial Action Task Force, a G7 initiative to combat money laundering, has the country on a Grey List, which the Pakistan Government claims costs the economy at least US$10 billion a year. About 97% of people in the country are Muslims and the country’s population exceeds 212 million.

“This visit is definitely going to help Pakistan build an image in the world, to see that this place is no more a security risk, this place is peaceful enough to host dignities like the royal couple,” said Pakistan Government spokesman Iftikhar Durrani.

He added that the government of Imran Khan would use the visits to highlight its stance on the dispute over Kashmir.

The visit has already provided a boost to Pakistan’s retail industry. Last week, stock of a pair of £6 earrings by Pakistani designer Zeen sold out minutes after the Duchess was seen wearing them at an event in London.

The Royal Tour of the South Asia country follows a visit to South Africa by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

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