* Miliband says London wants to increase Pak-EU free trade
* Zardari says revival of composite dialogue in region’s best interest

LONDON: The UK and Pakistan on Saturday agreed to establish a joint task force on education, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced after a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari.

Addressing journalists with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Miliband said the task force would work to implement the strategy being developed by the government of Pakistan. He said recent reports from Islamabad had identified the implementation gap and “we are going to use this task force to bridge this gap”. He said the task force would ensure that funding provided for education by the UK, the US and other donor countries was spent on education.

Terming his meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari and Qureshi as “excellent”, the foreign secretary said they had a practical discussion about the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) meeting scheduled for New York this week. Referring to the meeting, he said the assembled countries would learn of the means by which the government of Pakistan was pushing out the militants from Swat. “We will hear about the government’s plans to extend its comprehensive approach to counter the insurgency in terms of security, politics and economics,” he added.

Free trade: He said the FoDP meeting was important because it allowed the international community to recognise the progress being made in Pakistan, while giving the international community a chance to renew its commitment to Pakistan. He said the UK wanted to increase free trade between Pakistan and Europe, but that would not happen overnight.

Dialogue: Earlier, during their meeting, President Zardari informed Miliband that Islamabad believed the revival of composite dialogue was in the best interest of the region and would help bring about peace and stability. app