ISLAMABAD - Visiting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson yesterday left everybody present at his news conference smiling as he playfully addressed Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz as ‘Sartaj’.

When Sartaj Aziz welcomed him to Pakistan and invited him to address the journalists, with a broad smile on his face, Johnson said: “I would not call you ‘Advisor’ but ‘Sartaj’. Thank you Sartaj.”

The Advisor responded with smile as Johnson continued to refer to him as ‘Sartaj’ during his brief but candid news conference.

Johnson also said he was a great supporter of Pakistan as he had ‘links to Pakistan’ - referring to his wife Marina Claire Wheeler. “We want better security, trade and cultural ties with Pakistan. I am a strong supporter of this because I have a connection with Pakistan, you may know,” he said with a funny smile.

Marina Claire Wheeler is of half English and half Indian Sikh descent, the daughter of BBC correspondent Sir Charles Wheeler and his second wife Dip Singh.

Her Asian ancestry goes back to the town of Sargodha in West Punjab, modern-day Pakistan, with her maternal family migrating to India after the partition.

In an earlier interview, Johnson had said his wife has been constantly asking him to visit Pakistan – her ancestral land.

“My wife originates from Pakistan, she is Sikh and her parents were from Sargodha. She has been asking me to visit Pakistan since a long time but unfortunately I was unable to do so but I intend to visit the amazing country soon,” he had said.

Johnson frankly refused to go too much into the Kashmir issue but urged Pakistan and India to resolve the dispute peacefully through dialogue. Britain, he said did not want to “prescribe a solution or act as a mediator.”

Sensing the possible questions on Kashmir, Johnson had originally refused to take any question but later agreed for one or two queries from the journalists.

When all the three questions were asked about Kashmir, Johnson said, “Respectfully, I would say, I will not go any further than what I said a moment ago.”