Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said that despite Indian efforts Pakistan is not diplomatically isolated and invited the opposition parties for discussion with the government on the foreign policy issues facing the country.
Speaking at the floor of the Senate here, he said the political parties should pursue a bipartisan approach in foreign affairs in line with the national interest.
The minister said the parties which were in government for multiple times were very much responsible for the present state of foreign affairs and rejected the opposition’s criticism that the country is facing isolation.
Despite attempts of India, Pakistan has the support of the world as became evident from the backing it received at different international forums, he remarked.
In this regard, Qureshi mentioned Pakistan’s election at the UN Human Rights Council, Pakistan’s presidency at the UN Economic and Social Council, and the 7% growth in trade with Africa last year.
In the next stage, the countries of Europe will be engaged to boost mutual economic interests, he conveyed.
Ties with neighbouring, Muslim countries
Shah Mehmood Qureshi recalled that the friendly countries came to the rescue of Pakistan and gave timely financial assistance.
He said Saudi Arabia gave credit facility to Pakistan and as the loan was given for a limited period, the amount was also returned.
He said the United Arab Emirates had categorically stated that its relations with India would not be at the cost of Pakistan.
The foreign minister told that good relations with neighbouring countries were a pillar of the foreign policy of Pakistan.
He said relations of Pakistan and Afghanistan had improved and both countries had signed a document of shared vision, adding the Pakistani government made contacts with all ethnic groups in Afghanistan.
He said he had held talks with Secretary of State of the United States on foreign policy imperatives and shared vision of Pakistan for Afghanistan.
Pakistan had undertaken border fencing and establishment of markets at the borders of Iran and Afghanistan, he explained.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan and China have good ties and have started the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor aimed at the relocation of industrial units.
‘Pakistan desires peace with India’
He said Pakistan desired peace with India but India was ruled by an extremist government which wanted rule of Hindutva and was not ready for talks.
The government of PTI has forcefully raised the Kashmir issue at different international forums, he continued.
The minister said terrorists were targeting innocent people in Balochistan and the government has irrefutable evidence that India was fomenting trouble in the province.
He said that he had informed the United Nations and the world leaders about the violations of Line of Control (LoC) by the Indian army which was killing the civilian population in Azad Kashmir.
Qureshi said Kashmiris wanted the solution of Kashmir issue according to the United Nations Security Council resolutions.