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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that he would visit the United States next week to talk about enhancing trade and improving bilateral relations.

Talking to reporters on Saturday, the foreign minister said that he would be going to the US primarily to attend the Food Security conference in New York, adding that he would be presenting Pakistan’s perspective with regard to food security.

On 18 May, on the eve of the UN Security Council open debate, the United States will convene a ministerial-level global food security call to action event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The event will be attended by foreign ministers from many regions and will review urgent humanitarian needs and explore ways to build future resilience. On May 6 telephonic contact with Bilawal, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had invited him to attend the conference which he accepted.

In his talks with the reporters, Bilawal said that he would present Pakistan’s perspective of the food security, adding the country, as well as, the entire world is facing problems of supply chain due to Covid situation.

Additionally, he added that due to the “incompetence” of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is already facing wheat and fertilizers crises. Due to the geo-strategic developments, he added that there is a possibility of a further increase in these crises. “Food security and energy security are important topics and I am looking forward to giving Pakistan’s perspective from that platform,” he added.

As far as Imran Khan’s “lies” are concerned, he added: “We are not going to the US to beg for getting any money, the way Khan Sahib used to, we will not reach out anywhere for begging like what Khan Sahib did.”

He stated that the PPP’s past approach also remained that ‘we believe in trade and not aid’, adding that he would visit anywhere in the world with this approach for benefiting Pakistan’s economy. “We are not going anywhere to beg anyone. This might be Khan Sahib’s policy, but not ours,” he added.

The foreign minister said that Parliament exists for discussing the political issues and also advised the PTI chief to come to the parliament.

To a question, he said that the primary objective of his visit to the US is to participate in the Food and Security conference and he would “definitely” welcome to interact with any US authority on the sidelines of the conference, adding that it is very important to present Pakistan’s position.

As far as Pakistan’s relation with China is concerned, he added that everyone knows that Pakistan’s relations with China that is ‘higher than Himalayas and sweeter than honey’. He said that interaction with China is also very important, adding that Pakistan not only wants to maintain good ties with every country, but also desires to further improve these relations by addressing the problems and the challenges.

Responding to another question, he maintained that Imran Khan during his last days took such economic decisions without taking input from the Finance Ministry and the economic coordination committee due to which “difficult” decisions would be taken. To another question about trade with India, the foreign minister said that there has been no change in Pakistan’s position about trade with India.

He said that the government would pursue its foreign policy by keeping supreme its national security objectives and interests, adding that there would not be any aggressive shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy. He said that Pakistan believes in peace and for this, dialogue and diplomacy are the only way so that we could proceed towards peace instead of war.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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