UK, Pakistan set up joint task force on education

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Islamabad, Sep 21 (ANI): The United Kingdom and Pakistan have agreed to set up a joint task force on education to be headed by noted British educationist Michael Barber.

Talking to the media along with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after the meeting with the President Asif Ali Zardari, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said they had extensive discussions on education.

The Task Force will work on the implementation of strategy currently being developed by the Government of Pakistan, he said, adding that recent reports by the government of Pakistan identified the implementation gap and "we are going to use this task force to bridge the implementation gap."

The Task Force will also be responsible for overseeing the use of funds for educational development from Britain, the US and other parts of the world, the Dawn reports.

Earlier, the meeting was also attended by Qureshi, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Foreign Relations Committee of the National Assembly Asfandyar Wali, spokesman to the President Farahtuallah Babar, High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan and Deputy High Commissioner Asif Durani.

"We had extensive discourse about the education in Pakistan. The President has been passionate about the importance of education and the Foreign Minister as well," Miliband said.

"This brings out the fact that our relations with Pakistan are long term one and the children who have school age in Pakistan are the future of Pakistan," he said, adding that he looked forward deepening educational links between the two countries, and more extensive discussions next week.

Replying to a question, Qureshi said that the world was recognising Pakistan's efforts.

"The people of Pakistan remain united and convinced to fight extremism and terrorism. They have shown results in Malakand and Swat," he added. (ANI)

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