KARACHI: The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, and Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 Thunder aircraft thrilled Karachi audiences in an airshow display at Sea View on Thursday.
A British High Commission statement said the airshow started at 02:00 pm on Sea View Road and was attended by the British High Commissioner, senior officials from the British Council and the Pakistan Air Force.
It said the public of Karachi were also there in huge numbers to witness the joint airshow, which marks the first time the Red Arrows had performed a full display in Pakistan in 20 years.
The British Council also set up a pop up library at Sea View which included digital wall with a curated collection of e-books and an information booth.
Speaking at the event, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s Supervisor, Squadron Leader Mike Ling, who is known as Red 10, said, “The strength of the UK-Pakistan relationship is highlighted by this joint airshow by the Red Arrows and the Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 Thunder aircraft.”
The visit by the Red Arrows this year is also historic as it marks 70 years of UK-Pakistan relations.
“We are thankful to the officers and men of Pakistan’s Southern Air Command for their generosity and support in hosting us for this visit.”
Earlier on Thursday the Red Arrows visited Pakistan Air Force’s Masroor Base where they were welcomed by senior officials from the Pakistan Air Force.
The Pakistan Air Force and the British Council co-hosted this event. In addition to ministers and dignitaries, schoolchildren from the PAF Saleem Nawaz Fazaia College had the opportunity to interact and engage with the Red Arrow and JF-17 Thunder pilots.
Speaking at the event, the Country Director for the British Council in Pakistan Ms Rosemary Hilhorst said: ‘The British Council is delighted to have such a strong partnership with the Pakistan Air Force in education supporting its schools and colleges.
‘Today is a very special day which represents the excellence of the aerobatic teams, both the Red Arrows and the JF-17 Thunder display teams, and the strong relationship between the UK and Pakistan which has held steadfast these past 70 years’.
With the message of ‘Shared History, Shared Future’, the British High Commission’s 70th anniversary celebrations consist of a year-long series of activities and events that celebrate the strength of the UK-Pakistan relationship over the last 70 years.
This year also marks 70 years of the British Council working in Pakistan, which it is celebrating through diverse activities and programming ranging from cultural festivals to alumni events.
Working in cooperation with the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani High Commission in London, the celebrations seek to increase the bilateral trade, cultural and educational links between the two countries.
The Red Arrows are one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. Flying British-built fast-jets, they have performed more than 4,800 times in 57 countries, showcasing the excellence of the Royal Air Force and representing the United Kingdom overseas.
The team is carrying out a five-week tour of the Middle East supporting UK interests.