LONDON: Resolution of Kashmir issue and peace in Afghanistan are vital for bringing peace and prosperity in the region,
LONDON: Resolution of Kashmir issue and peace in Afghanistan are vital for bringing peace and prosperity in the region, said Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday.
The information minister said this while addressing a gathering of international policy experts, diplomats, people belonging to different walks of life of the British society and journalists. The lecture on the topic 'New Pakistan Challenges and Opportunities' was organized by International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) London (United Kingdom). Rahul Roy Chaudhry Senior fellow for South Asia at IISS moderated the talk.
Chaudhy was of the opinion that Pakistan wants peaceful solution of Kashmir dispute with India and soon after coming into power Prime Minister Imran Khan offered India dialogue to resolve the dispute peacefully.
The minister regretted that India had always rejected Pakistan's offers for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute between the two countries. He added that majority of people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) were not willing to live with India.
He added that for the first time the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, army and the people of Pakistan were on the same page and supporting the strategic initiatives taken by the PTI government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Minister said that Pakistan is a beautiful country but was misunderstood in the world. "Since 1980 we have faced three catastrophic situations which brought conflict in the country," he said. "It was because of Pakistan’s resilience that it survived. No other country could have survived under such circumstances" he remarked.
Pakistan, he said, not only survived but it is most modern country in the third world and Muslim countries and has fully functional and robust institutions.
Pakistan,he said had the free press and judiciary; no other country in the third world is even closer to Pakistan as far as the structure of our institutions was concerned.
Fawad said that the formation of government under the leadership of Imran Khan was yet another evidence of political maturity of Pakistan.
The Information Minister said that PTI’s coming into power is a middle-class revolution against status-quo and corrupt system.
He further said that Present government was bringing about paradigm shift where the powerful people and political vigilantes like Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan were being brought under law.
"It is first time in the Pakistan’s history that powerful classes are feeling the pressure of law.
Because of the very close understanding of Pakistan’s civil and military institutions, the 70 years old paradigm has shifted".
Opening of Kartarpur corridor is history in the making.
"We will wait for outcome of Indian’s elections and we wait India to rethink its position on Kashmir. Kashmiris don’t want to live with India. Kashmir is not a territorial issue but a humanitarian issue",he remarked.
Fawad Chaudhry said "We hope that one day Muslims of Pakistan will be allowed to go to the shrine of Ajmer Sharif in India".
USA, he said is a super power and "we are fully aware of the importance of the USA".
Prime Minister Imran Khan offers the best bet to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Since the new government has taken over, relations between Pakistan and USA are improving. President Trump’s letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with Prime Minister is evidence of improving ties.
Regarding CPEC, he said this initiative remains the most important geo-economic project for Pakistan, and other countries including EU countries which may like to benefit from the economic opportunities offered by CPEC.
Since Prime Minister Imran Khan took over, our relations with Saudi Arabia and China are on new heights.
He said that due to governments prudent policies investments from many countries including Saudi Arabi, USA, Japan etc were keen making their investments in various sectors of economy.
He added that many countries including Saudi Arabia had also taken interest to participate in CPEC project and making investments in various projects under the initiative including agriculture and tourism.
Imran Khan’s priority is to take people out of poverty and our policies are directed towards that end.
He said that the government considers that Pakistan - India relations were in the best interest of the entire region, and peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute would help end poverty , besides bringing prosperity in the region.
He added that Pakistan had always moved forward with positive initiatives adding that it was Pakistan which has opened up Kartarpur Corridor for Indian Sikh Yatris and also wanted more corridors to facilitate Hindu Yatris to visits their temples in Pakistan.
He added that thirty three (33) top Indian journalists visited Pakistan to witness and cover the Kartarpur corridor which also helped boost people to people contacts.
Fawad said war was no solution as both India and Pakistan had gone for three wars on Kashmir with no solution.
The best solution to resolve the Kashmnir dispute between Pakistan and India was to sit on the negotiating table and resolve this dispute peacefully, he added.
He said that through peace initiatives Pakistan had gone extra miles to improve relationship with India.
The Minister said that PTI has emerged as one of the biggest party in the July 25 elections defeating two major parties Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The minister said that middle class of the country had supported PTI in the election.
To a question , he said that Pakistan had played a vital role in bringing Iran and Saudi Arabia closer to each other on the issue of Yemen.
He added that in a few weeks there would be a positive news regarding Yemen, he remarked.
He said that Pakistan also wanted good relations with Afghanistan and end of war in the country.
Minister for Information said that PTI government and its leadership wanted end of corruption in the country adding that it was the PTI government which had already arrested influential people on the charges of corruption and sent them behind the bar.
The Information Minister said that even not a single scandal was reported regarding PTI's present government.
He vowed to recover the looted Pakistani money abroad from the corrupt people.
The Minister, later, held a meeting with the IISS think tank notables.
He was briefed about the best practices and structure of the IISS.
The Minister expressed his desire to revamp Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) Islamabad on modern lines and make it a state-of-the-art think tank.
The Minister also discussed future collaborations between IISS and IRS.