97pc applicants were successful in getting student visas British envoy.

ISLAMABAD -- British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner has said the issuance rate of British student visas from Pakistan is 97pc, which meant 97pc of the applicants get the visa.

Refuting the perception that British student visa was the hardest to get, Dr Turner said they had issued 23,500 student visas which doubled from the time he arrived in Pakistan three years ago.

Dr Turner, who arrived in December 2019, will cease to be the high commissioner to Pakistan this week. However, he told Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that he would now become 'an ambassador for Pakistan'.

He has been recalled to serve in London as the foreign ministry's under-secretary of state, which requires coordinating foreign policy across the world

Talking to Dawn, the outgoing high commissioner said during his tenure, his mission worked on strengthening people-to-people connections between the UK and Pakistan.

'We have 'UK-Pak Dosti - Hum Ek Saath Hain', which is massive. Where else in the world do you have 1.6 million of British Pakistanis, which is about 2pc of our population, and 100,000 British nationals in Pakistan,' he said, adding that, 'we issued nearly 100,000 visit visas last year and student visas went up 242pc with almost a 100pc acceptance rate'.

'Everything I do, the opportunity, trade, the risks, it all comes back to that we are connected as two countries. I feel privileged to sit in the middle of that, like curating a relationship,' Dr Turner said.

'I have been quite clear that external perceptions of Pakistan are misplaced. When my parents first came here, they had an amazing time traveling around the country - Lahore and Multan,' he said.

The high commissioner said the slightly negative connotation of the country came from a lot of things and his job was to challenge some of those stereotypes and perceptions and travel advisories were some of the notable things he did, including getting back British Airways and Virgin to establish better links.

Some of the things he would remember were deep areas of work for the British High Commission, working through the pandemic together, all the difficulties around the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and the shared security concerns, the work on the floods for which the British government contributed 91 million pounds as humanitarian aid, adaptation and finance support to Pakistan with an additional 35 million pounds of money that came from the British people through charity appeal.

However, he always wanted...

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