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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office on Friday explained that Pakistan’s policy on the Ukrainian conflict has not changed and hoped that other countries will understand and respect Islamabad’s principled and independent position on the issue.

Speaking at his weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar pointed out that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his recent joint presser with his German counterpart in Berlin had reiterated Pakistan’s position and emphasized the necessity of dialogue and diplomacy for the resolution of this conflict.

“Our position has been clear and consistent,” he said, adding that the same was also explained by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN in General Assembly after the vote on the Ukrainian issue on Wednesday.

The UNGA on Wednesday passed a resolution which rejected Russia’s annexation of some Ukrainian territories and Pakistan among 35 abstained from Wednesday’s vote on the resolution.

Asked whether the US had sought Pakistan’s support to the UNGA resolution or whether Pakistan’s position would not have any effect on Pakistan-US relations, the spokesperson said that consultations on various resolutions in the UN is a routine diplomatic practice and hoped that the countries will understand and respect Pakistan’s independent position.

“The fact is, Pakistan has taken a principled and objective position. And we have maintained this position and we feel that our position is well considered which has also enabled us to gain necessary space to engage with both sides. We also expect that the other members of the international community who have their own positions and perspectives, they will understand and respect Pakistan’s position and our right to have our own assessment and independent position on the issue,” he hoped.

He stated that he does not believe that it will have any impact on Pakistan’s bilateral relations with any other country. He said that Pakistan’s representative in the UNGA explained Pakistan’s position, adding that it was a clear enunciation of the principles “to which we are committed and we want that these principles to be consistently and universally respected.”

He stated that there were reasons why Pakistan abstained from the vote. “We were also very unambiguous in pronouncing our position on the illegality and unacceptability of the referenda organised in Ukraine. I think our position has been well articulated and we understand that there is receptivity about this position that Pakistan has all the right to take independently,” he explained.

In response to another query, he said that Pakistan does not want to be a part of any bloc politics in the world. He said that Pakistan wants to have broad-based, objective, balanced, and mutually-beneficial relationships with all major powers, including the United States and China.

To another query, he said that the resolution of all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, is vital for the development and progress of South Asia.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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