I took the Pakistani foreign minister to Birmingham on Friday to meet community leaders and young members of the Pakistani heritage diaspora. The pride about both countries was really striking - pride because the people we met were proud of their achievements in Britain and of their Pakistani heritage. But there was also concern over the need to find new ways to support Pakistan as it goes through difficult weeks and months.
The expectations are big, the needs very large, and the forces undermining national consensus strong. Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, my opposite number, has a grandfather who was governor (I think) of the Punjab under the Raj, and is himself a former mayor of Multan and Finance Minister of Punjab.He wowed the elders and listened intently to the young people.His government need time, yet the threats of terrorism and economic challenge conspire to deny it.
Britain is helping with aid and trade but we left Birmingham resolved to try and do better on business and education contacts.