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Prince William and wife Kate leave Pakistan, day after aborted flight

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate left Pakistan on Friday after visiting an army dog training school, a day after a severe thunderstorm forced them to change their schedule and stay the night in Lahore.

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A planned visit to a Pakistani military post in the Khyber region on Friday morning was cancelled because of the change in their schedule, but the prince said learning about the security situation in the country was an objective of the visit.

“What happens here in Pakistan directly correlates to what happens on the streets of the UK,” William told British media after he and Kate saw dogs that are trained to sniff out explosives.

“We are involved with the Pakistanis for a very good reason, it will actually keep people safe back in the UK.”

An RAF Voyager carrying the royals aborted landings in Islamabad and nearby Rawalpindi on Thursday because of severe turbulence during the thunderstorm.

The couple stayed at Lahore’s Pearl Continental Hotel on Thursday evening, along with journalists, their staff and foreign ministry officials. The couple told reporters after returning to Lahore that they were “fine”.

William and Kate have also highlighted education and the impact of climate change during their stay in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s government hopes the couple’s four-day visit will help boost the country’s image as a tourist and business destination, after decades of sectarian violence and political unrest.

On Friday, a global money-laundering watchdog gave Pakistan until February to improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan, or face action.

“In terms of Pakistan’s positive international image, the visit has been an unmitigated success,” said Rifat Hussain, analyst and a former professor at Quaid e Azam university in Islamabad, though he said there had been some complaints from Pakistanis about the huge security operation around the trip.

Reporting Peter Nicholls in Islamabad, additional reporting by Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi, Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Catherine Evans and Timothy Heritage