Dr. Christian Turner CMG
Dr Christian Turner CMG is the current British High Commissioner to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He succeeded to Mr Thomas Drew CMG who served in the same capacity from February 2016 until October 2019. Dr Turner has taken up his appointment in December 2019 and he is the Britain’s 20th High Commissioner to Pakistan since the country’s independence from Britain in 1947.
His Excellency Dr Christian Turner is an active staunch advocate of women empowerment, climate change, education and promotion of bilateral trade ties between UK and Pakistan.
Ever since his appointment in Pakistan, he has been actively promoting the rights of women and alleviating their socio-economic status to overcome the grave divide of gender disparity. On International women’s day this year, HE paid tribute to the women parliamentarians of Pakistan in a forum arranged by British High Commission for bringing together eight women parliamentarians from a range of parties and regions to discuss and share their stories as political leaders. In an official statement Dr Christian Turner, CMG, said, “There is no prosperous future in Pakistan without giving women a voice and choice. I have met many brilliant Pakistani women and I’m impressed by their stories of resilience, hard work and creativity. As the British High Commissioner, I plan to use my time here to promote the UK’s commitment to advance gender equality. I will work to ensure that more women in Pakistan are heard and have voice in decision-making; I will work to get more girls into schools – and support financial inclusion of women, because an equal world is an enabled world.
As we know that, the UK is committed to cause of gender empowerment and this year’s theme was “Each for Equal” which shows the commitment of the country to continue working for women’s empowerment.
In November 2020, the 16 days of activism was HE posted a picture holding a placard stating that “I pledge to do all I can to invest in the economic and political empowerment of women in Pakistan.”
Dr Turner is also a strong supporter of philanthropic activities and in the initial months of his appointment in the country, he have shared several such stories on social media. This is yet another area, where the UK government is committed to the vision of helping to develop a hunger free Pakistan.
His Excellency has been making efforts to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and to propel the volume of bilateral trade to boost inclusive and export-led economic growth in Pakistan. While mentioning his efforts for increasing trade ties between both longstanding partner countries he said that he looks forward “to promote inclusive and export-led economic growth through collaborative joint ventures in the areas of healthcare, clean energy, combating climate change, education and tourism sectors in Pakistan.”
The bio of HE Christian Turner official twitter handle states that he is a believer of digital diplomacy, which is a relatively new tactic of diplomacy to connect with the masses of the country. Throughout the period of COVID-19 pandemic he has been actively tweeting about the flights and visa facilities, and he says that HE often post pictures of his travel in the country, like snaps from his visit to Taxila, Lahore, Gilgit Baltistan etc. showing his love for the country and its diverse landscape. He said, “In my first visit to the North of Pakistan I was blown away by its natural beauty, but the potential for sustainable tourism and its communities are at risk from climate change.”
HE also seems a fan of cricket as he has posted several pictures of him in the cricket ground and himself batting. Recently, HE also helped in negotiations for the England cricket team to tour Pakistan, which will the first visit of England’s cricket team to the country after 6 years. On this occasion, HE Dr Turner said, “perceptions of Pakistan need to catch up with the reality”.
In a statement regarding the Pakistani diaspora in UK, which is the largest Pakistani community in Europe, HE Dr Turner said that, “1.6 million strong Pakistani diaspora in the UK was at the heart of Pak-UK ties”
Dr Christian Turner CMG was the Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser from April 2017 to July 2019. He previously served as the Director General, Political (Acting) and Director General for the Middle East and Africa, leading the UK organisation of the London Syria Conference in February 2016. From 2012 to 2015 he was British High Commissioner to Kenya; and from 2009 to 2012 he was FCO’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Between 1997 and 2008 he held various positions in the Foreign Office, the Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street, including as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, as Secretary to the Economic & Domestic Committees of Cabinet, and as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Washington from 2002-2006.
Before joining government, he made television documentaries, following completion of his PhD. He is married with two children.