In foreign policy, no permanent friends but interests: FM Qureshi

Fawad Maqsood September 4, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Terming foreign policy challenges and interests as inter-linked, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday said there were no permanent friends or enemies among the nations, but only interests.

Speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day seminar themed ‘Pakistan’s foreign policy in a changing world’ organized here by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), Qureshi said foreign policy could not be formulated in isolation, adding, “It is a dynamic process that seeks to cater to a nation’s internal needs and external environment.”

The foreign minister said Pakistan’s current interests included socio-economic development, working towards a peaceful neighbourhood, protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and finding the solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and also as per aspirations of the Valley’s people.

He said India’s illegal and unilateral act of August 5 not only undermined its pledge with the international community, but also raised humanitarian crisis after it reinforced occupation through more troops and guns.

He said innocent unarmed civilians stood against brute might of the Indian army which used pellet guns to quell their protests.

The foreign minister mentioned that over eight million Kashmiris were facing inhumane military siege and a clamp down on their lives with no access to basic facilities including food, medicine and communication.

He said in last four weeks, Pakistan undertook a diplomatic surge with immense responsibility and restraint, expressing concern that India could carry out a false flag operation or a misadventure at Line of Control to divert attention from its crimes.

“We have a firm resolve that if India chose the path of aggression, Pakistan would be fully ready to defend itself,” he said.

The foreign minister said Pakistan had downgraded its relations with India and also suspended bilateral trade besides rail and bus services and was reviewing other bilateral arrangements as well.

He said Pakistan would seize every opportunity to sensitize the world community of the sufferings of people of Kashmir.

“The greatest challenge for our foreign policy today is how to stand up to Hindutva ideology and sustain and add momentum to the moral, political and diplomatic support to the just struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination while preserving peace,” he said.

On Afghanistan, Qureshi hoped a breakthrough in future following parleys between the Untied States and Taliban.

“As the dialogue is underway, we sincerely hope it will pave way for lasting peace.

Pakistan will continue to facilitate the process of enduring stability,” he said.

The foreign minister said convincing the world about the inherent benefits of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was another big challenge.

He termed the strategic ties between Pakistan and China as “anchor of stability in the region”.

Qureshi agreed that political polarization existed in the country at present, however said on the issue of Kashmir, the unanimous resolution reflected political maturity.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019

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