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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar will visit Afghanistan soon to raise Pakistan’s concerns with the Afghan interim government authorities with regard to the terrorist elements present in the neighbouring country and posing a security threat to Pakistan.

Briefing the inaugural session of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Irfan Siddiqui, the foreign minister stated that the terrorist attacks on Chinese nationals including the Dasu suicide attack and the previous ones, were not only terror attacks but also intended to cause damage to Pakistan-China relations.

He told the committee that the strings of the recent attacks on Chinese nationals are traced to Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Dar further said that he will be visiting Afghanistan soon and raise all the issues with the Afghan interim government authorities, adding that Afghanistan is a brotherly neighbour country and Pakistan desires good ties with all its neighbours, including Afghanistan.

The foreign minister briefed the committee with regard to engagement with Afghanistan regarding security and health issues.

He also presented an overview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ first 100-day progress, with a main focus on economic diplomacy and geo-economics.

He detailed the ministry’s priorities, including economic recovery, diplomatic growth, and improved trade and investment through international partnerships.

He added that the key achievements included calls for a ceasefire in Gaza in the OIC Summit, participation in the Nuclear Energy Summit, and significant diplomatic visits to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, and Uzbekistan.

“These visits focused on enhancing cooperation in various sectors, including ICT, renewable energy, and strategic partnerships, with the UAE pledging a $10 billion investment in Pakistan other than previous commitments,” he said.

Dar emphasised that Pakistan is no longer diplomatically isolated, stressing that the country is engaging with the world with open arms and striving to attract foreign direct investment. He expressed optimism about Pakistan’s economic recovery.

Responding to a question about the ML-1 project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Dar said that there is confusion in the media regarding the ML-1 project of the first phase of CPEC. “We have not suspended the ML-1 project,” he said adding that funds are available for the project from Multan to Karachi.

However, he added that providing funds to the project from Multan to Peshawar is being reviewed and the project will again be discussed with the Chinese government.

The foreign minister also briefed the committee on the initiatives to facilitate document attestation services for residents of remote areas through courier services and the new initiative of the ministry, “Apostille Verification”.

Addressing concerns about Pakistani students facing issues in Central Asia, he assured ongoing efforts to support and accommodate students, noting that 4,800 out of 11,000 students from Kyrgyzstan have already returned to Pakistan due to efforts of the current government.

Chairman Senator Siddiqui inquired about the performance evaluation of Pakistani trade attachés in Pakistan’s missions abroad, to which, Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi responded that performance reports are reviewed every three months based on approved KPIs.

The meeting was attended by senators, Sherry Rehman, Rana Mahmoodul Hassan, Rubina Qaimkhani, Anwaarul Haq Kakar, Dr Afnan Ullah Khan, Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Mohammad Abdul Qadir, and senior officers from the Foreign Office.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Comments

200 characters
Arsalan Jul 10, 2024 07:48am
THEY DONT WANT U THR. NO ONE WANTS U. ITS ONLY THE LAND OF SLAVES WHERE U CAN ROAM AROUND OPENLY OR ELSE U WERE N WILL ALWAYS B A FUGITIVE
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