Islamabad (August 20, 2018): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday declared that the PTI Government would pursue a bi-partisan approach to foreign policy issues and take the opposition on board in addressing these challenges.
Stating that Pakistan’s foreign policy will be reviewed afresh, the foreign minister said, “We want peace and stability in the region.”
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Foreign Minister said that “we will make sure that Pakistan is respected worldwide and for that we will have to set our priorities and move forward,”
Shifting focus to relations with neighbouring countries, the foreign minister stressed, “There is a need for continued and uninterrupted dialogue with India.”
“Our foreign policy will begin and end at Pakistan,” FM asserted and added that they are determined to resolve the challenges faced by the country.Qureshi also directly addressed Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and said, “We are neighbours. We have long-standing issues, both of us know these problems. But we have no other option but to engage in dialogue. We cannot afford adventurism.”
“These issues are complicated and we may face hurdles in resolving them, but we must engage. We will have to admit that we are facing problems, we must admit that Kashmir is a reality. The Islamabad declaration is a part of our history,” he added.“We may have a different approach and line of thinking, but I want to see a change in how we behave,” the newly-appointed foreign minister said.
“India and Pakistan have to move forward keeping realities before them,” he asserted, adding that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to PM Imran Khan in which he has indicated the beginning of talks between the two countries.
Qureshi also said he intends to contact his Afghan counterpart and pay a visit to Kabul. “I want to go with a solid message for the people of Afghanistan. The two countries share a future and geography, and we have to work together and begin our long journey.”
Qureshi said he has experience of working with the US.Further, the foreign minister said his party “supports the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)”.
“CPEC is a long-term project, a game changer and our party supports it,” he maintained.
Qureshi also said, “Some powers were taking advantage of the vacuum created by the absence of a foreign minister and were trying to push Pakistan towards isolation.”
However, Qureshi vowed to not allow Pakistan to be isolated.
Inviting the opposition for talks, Qureshi said, “I will also consult former foreign ministers Khawaja Asif and Hina Rabbani Khar on how to move forward with the foreign policy.”