We must understand concerns of others: PM

Nawaz reiterates Kashmir is not India’s internal matter


Kamran Yousaf August 04, 2016
Nawaz reiterates Kashmir is not India’s internal matter. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan will have to understand ‘legitimate concerns’ of other countries too, as his top foreign policy aide presented a rosy picture of the government’s foreign policy achievements.

“There are issues on which Pakistan has concerns and we expect other countries to take care of them,” the premier said in his speech at the concluding session of a three-day envoys conference held at the Foreign Office. However, he added that other countries might also have ‘legitimate concerns’ which “we will have to understand.”

Aziz dismisses talk of Pakistan's global isolation

Though, he did not elaborate further, it is well known fact that countries such as Afghanistan and India often expressed concerns on some of the policies being pursued by Pakistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz’s government has been advocating a policy of peaceful neighborhood with particular emphasis on improving ties with Afghanistan and India. Despite promising start, the government policy, however, fell through as Pakistan currently has strained ties both with Afghanistan and India.

The three-day conference attended by ambassadors posted in key world capitals deliberated on emerging foreign policy challenges in the wake of political, strategic and economic developments. In his speech, Premier Nawaz stressed the need to address challenges facing the country before they complicate further, according to Radio Pakistan. He said peaceful solutions to outstanding disputes are imperative for durable peace and prosperity in the region. He added that Pakistan desires peace but this should not be misconstrued as ‘our weakness’.

The prime minister said resolution of longstanding Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. “Today Kashmir is witnessing a new wave of freedom movement. This movement is running into the bloods of third generation of Kashmiri people and the world has itself seen its intensity in the wake of July 8,” he said. He said the Kashmiri youth were writing new chapters of sacrifices to get the right to self-determination. He called on envoys to apprise the world that Kashmir is not India’s internal matter and that New Delhi itself accepts Kashmir as a disputed territory.

Pakistan's tricky foreign policy balancing act

On Afghanistan, he said peace in the country was vital for peace and stability in Pakistan. He said the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) process should be taken forward adding Pakistan will always support efforts aimed at reviving peace in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had a clear stance that it will not allow its territory to be used against any other country. “Pakistan believes in the policy of non interference and respect of sovereignty,” he said in his address broadcast live by the state-run PTV.

On China, he said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will prove to be a “game changer and guarantee regional peace and prosperity.”

“Through this mega project we are introducing a new vision of relationship. This project carries opportunities for Iran, Afghanistan and the Central Asian States,” he said.

Nawaz said Pakistan will have to play proactive role simultaneously at multiple fronts. He said Pakistan has been freed of the menace of terrorism to a great extent and now a comprehensive strategy was being evolved to purge the country of extremism in order to completely weed out the terrorism.

“With the grace of God Almighty, the terrorist sanctuaries have been eliminated for which our security forces deserve applause,” he said. Nawaz urged the ambassadors to introduce positive image of Pakistan to the outside world. He said responsibility rests with the envoys to introduce Pakistan as emerging markets in the world which was far more strong and stable than in the past.

He said Pakistan has the required infrastructure and offers incentives which are necessary to attract the foreign investment. He said the Ambassadors should take promotion of investment in the country as their mission and it will also be test of their economic diplomacy.  “Pakistan is better placed today to attract foreign investment and in this regard our envoys have a responsibility on their shoulders to project the country’s positive image abroad,” he further said.

Not long before Kashmir becomes part of Pakistan: Nawaz

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs presented recommendations of the envoys conference to the Prime Minister. In his remarks, Sartaj Aziz dismissed the perception that the government’s foreign policy had isolated Pakistan.

“Our objective assessment of the past three years the prime minister will be happy to know does not support the view being projected in the section of media that Pakistan has been isolated and its foreign policy lacks direction,” he said. “In fact we are now more connected that ever and more integrated than before,” he added. The adviser termed the achievements of PML-N government on foreign policy front as ‘monumental.’

Some of the achievements he listed include CPEC, enhanced engagement with Central Asian states, the signing of CASA1000 and TAPI and resumption of strategic partnership with US.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2016.

COMMENTS (11)

Lolz | 5 years ago | Reply @Np: How could an instrument of accession be legitimate that was signed by a Hindu raja who didn't represent majority of Muslims in Kashmir. The whole partition was based on the separation and independence of Muslim majority states that was also the basis of two-nations theory.
G. Din | 5 years ago | Reply Today's news: UN has clarified that it considers Kashmir to be an internal matter of India and it will only take note of breaches of peace at LOC.
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