Thursday, 14 June 2012 13:39
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday said political stability was vital to help a country better position itself to achieve its foreign policy objectives.
Addressing the 6th Annual Convocation Ceremony here at the National Defence University, Gilani said the strength of a country was measured not in terms of its ability to impose unilateral decisions, but to create a win-win situation for all.
The Prime Minister spoke at length on four major areas that were the focal point of his democratic government and included the foreign policy, revival of economy, energy crisis and political stability.
Gilani said being part of a world that was highly interconnected and interdependent, the government has made a paradigm shift towards making its neighborhood peaceful, stable, and prosperous on the basis of peaceful co-existence, in an upfront manner.
"For us the most important capital in the world is Kabul, and the government of Kabul is the most important partner," the Prime Minister said.
He told the graduates, including 13 from foreign countries, that a peaceful, stable and sovereign Afghanistan was an absolute prerequisite for stability and peace in Pakistan.
Gilani said Pakistan was the first to suffer at the hands of strife in Afghanistan, and the first to benefit from peace in Afghanistan.
"However, we strongly believe that the solution of Afghanistan will have to come from within Afghanistan. It will have to be led by the Afghans and owned by the Afghans."
Referring to Pakistan's relations with India, Gilani termed these "stable and peaceful" and added "we have tried to transform this relationship by approaching it in a positive rather than in a traditional manner.
The Prime Minister said normalizing trade with India has been an issue that no previous governments wanted to touch.
"But we decided to look at this issue from a purely national and regional perspective," the Prime Minister said.
He mentioned the resumption of full dialogue with India, which covered all issues including Siachin, Sir Creek, counter terrorism, water issues, and the most important of all, the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Gilani referring to Pakistan's ties with China termed it a unique relationship, that was deeply rooted and mutually beneficial.
"The intensification of high-level contacts between Pakistan and China are a manifestation of taking this relationship to new heights," he said.
He described Pakistan-United States relations as multi- dimensional and important.
"We are trying to have an open, transparent and mutually beneficial relationship with the US on the basis of our national interests, and in the light of recommendations made by the Parliament."
The Prime Minister said the country's relations with the European Union have expanded and deepened.
"We are grateful for the EU initiative on tariff concessions to our exports. In order to transform this relationship into a long- term partnership, we are currently working on a strategic dialogue with the EU."
Gilani said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with the Russian Federation.
He mentioned that he and the President Zardari have undertaken several visits to Russia to inject new dynamism into the relationship.
"We have, in fact, turned a new page in our relationship with Russia."
He said Pakistan enjoys close and fraternal relations with all Islamic countries and seeks to deepen its engagement with East Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Gilani termed it was a measure of Pakistan's standing in the international community that Pakistan was elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council in 2011.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012