LONDON - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday met UK Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of Commonwealth leaders retreat here at Windsor Castle.

The two leaders discussed matters of bilateral interest. Abbasi congratulated Prime Minister Theresa May on a very efficient steering of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Abbasi highlighted the plight of the Kashmiri people and urged the international community to respond to the current human rights situation in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.

He informed Prime Minister May of Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism and extremism. He also underscored the importance of strengthening bilateral relations especially in the context of trade and investment and thanked UK for the work done by its development agency in Pakistan.

Abbasi also appreciated the appointment of a trade envoy by the UK government to help explore trade and investment opportunities between the two countries, especially in the post Brexit context. He also spoke of his visit to Kabul and underscored Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister May appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism and in that context recalled Prime Minister Abbasi’s reference to more than 100,000 Pakistanis affected in the fight against terrorism over the past 10 years.

She appreciated Prime Minister Abbasi’s efforts in reaching out to Afghanistan especially during his recent visit to Kabul.

She said that Pak-UK relations were strong and underscored the importance of further enhancing trade between the two countries.

In response to PM May’s reference to the recent alleged use of chemical weapons, Abbasi recalled Pakistan’s principled position of condemning any use of chemical weapons and upholding the principles of the UN Charter.

Abbasi, on the second day of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018), also joined the leaders of CW countries at three retreat sessions of the summit.

During the retreat sessions held in Windsor Castle, the prime minister interacted and had frank discussions on various issues of mutual interest with several leaders from Commonwealth countries.

Abbasi, who was here to attend CHOGM Summit – first in London in 40 years – actively participated in the executive sessions on Thursday and presented Pakistan’s vision on economy, security and sustainable development. Pakistan being a founder member of the 53-member Commonwealth had been playing active role.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth leaders agreed Friday that Prince Charles should follow his mother Queen Elizabeth II as the next head of the group at the close of a summit overshadowed by a row over Britain’s treatment of Caribbean immigrants.

“The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles,” the 53 member countries said in a statement.

Queen Elizabeth had told leaders on the first day of the summit on Thursday that she wanted her eldest son to succeed her in the symbolic figurehead role, which is non-hereditary.

Queen Elizabeth, who turns 92 on Saturday, spoke of her own “extraordinary journey” since pledging to serve the Commonwealth for life when aged 21.

“It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day, the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work,” she said, referring to Charles.

Queen Elizabeth has been the Commonwealth’s head since her father king George VI’s death in 1952.

Some republican voices had been angling for change in future but Prime Minister Theresa May gave her backing to 69-year-old Charles, who is heir to the throne of 16 Commonwealth nations, saying it was “fitting” that he should have the role.

Other Commonwealth leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also publicly endorsed Charles.

The summit also agreed a series of commitments on marine protection, combating malaria and guaranteeing 12 years of education for children in all member states by 2030.  This week’s gathering of Commonwealth leaders was, however, marred by a row over Britain’s threat to deport some of the immigrants who came to Britain from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 1960s because they did not have residency papers.

May was forced to apologise to Caribbean leaders on Tuesday and has faced questions over her own time as interior minister between 2010 and 2016 when she initiated policies aimed at creating a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants.

Large-scale Caribbean immigration to Britain began in 1948 - when the ship Empire Windrush brought over the first group of West Indian immigrants - and finished in the early 1970s.

They and their parents were invited to help rebuild Britain after World War II and with many of them legally British - they were born while their home countries were still colonies - they were given indefinite leave to remain.

Some have not been able to prove their status, however, and have faced deportation threats and expensive legal cases.

The government has now set up a helpline which as of Friday was helping 286 cases. The interior ministry said it had granted permanent status to eight people so far this week. But the government has faced outrage over its approach.

Around 500 people gathered in Windrush Square in Brixton, a part of south London where many Caribbean immigrants settled, for a demonstration later on Friday.

“We have what people thought was their own government telling them they’re not welcome in their own country,” Gary McFarlane from Stand Up To Racism, a campaign group, told the crowd.

“Unless you actually stand up and fight back, things can go backwards,” he said.