ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday told the National Assembly that Pakistan was committed to pursuing a constructive, sustained and result-oriented process of engagement with India, including on the issue of Kashmir.
In a written reply to a question raised by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Parvez Malik, Khar said that Pakistan continues to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
“We are also actively engaged in various trilateral and quadrilateral forums exploring ways to bring peace, stability and development in Afghanistan,” she wrote. “As peace and security must be underpinned with economic development, Pakistan has pledged an amount of $330 million for carrying out development and reconstruction work in Afghanistan.”
Regarding the Nato air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in Mohmand Agency, she said: “In the wake of the recent Nato attacks on our border posts, an envoys’ conference was convened on the directives of the prime minister to reassess our foreign policy.”
The recommendations of the conference will be presented before parliament for further deliberation.
“The envoys’ conference reaffirmed that Pakistan’s external relations continue to be based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in accordance with international law as enshrined in the UN charter,” asserted Khar.
Responding to a question regarding female ambassadors of Pakistan, she said that out of 87 of Pakistan’s missions abroad (ambassador/high commissioner level), 10 were currently being headed by females.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour told the lower house that because of torrential rains and unprecedented floods in 2010, railways’ infrastructure was significantly damaged and the total value of asset damage was estimated at Rs6.4 billion. During the 2011 floods in Sindh, he said, it had suffered a loss of Rs247 million.
Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim told the house that urea fertiliser was not exported during 2010, whereas 600,460 metric tons of urea was imported during 2011.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2011.