- Foreign minister says Pakistan will not join any camp politics
Amid Russia’s intensifying onslaught in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday called for restraint while emphasising that diplomacy was the only option to resolve the military conflict between the two neighbours, Aaj News reported.
“We think diplomacy cannot be ruled out and there are options for diplomacy,” he said while apprising media of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s two-day visit to Russia.
Qureshi said Pakistan will not be part of any camp politics and urged the international community to make joint efforts for resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict through diplomatic means.
He told the media that PM Imran shared the country’s concerns with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis during their meeting at the Kremlin on Thursday.
He added that right from the beginning, the country was expressing hope and calling for dialogue to resolve the issue through diplomacy as developing countries would be bearing the brunt of such wars in the form of rising oil and wheat prices.
He said following the conflict, oil prices had already surged over $100 per barrel besides impacting wheat prices as Russia and Ukraine were among the largest wheat exporters.
On speculations about the “ill-timed visit” of the premier to Moscow, he said such reactions were normal and the large delegation was not shocked. Qureshi added that the country’s intention was fulfilled.
He added that before the visit the cabinet had a detailed meeting with the diplomatic staff, saying that “collective wisdom is good.” Bilateral relations with Russia should not be compromised, he said, adding that the purpose of the visit was to maximise the diplomatic space. “I think our decision was right, our diplomatic space has increased, and we also saw an opportunity to take Russia in a loop over Kashmir, South Asia.”
FM Qureshi also shared that the country had a meeting with a high-level contact team of the United States before the Russia trip. “We gave Maudbana [respectful] answers to their [US] Masoomana [innocent] questions,” he said while talking about the meeting, adding that they were still in contact with them.
He stressed the need for regional connectivity and highlighted the historical importance of Russia in the region.