Terming foreign policy challenges and interests as inter-linked Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said there are no permanent friends or enemies among the nations, but only interests.
Speaking at the opening of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) two-day Short Course on Pakistan’s Foreign Policy in the Changing World Qureshi said foreign policy could not be formulated in isolation, adding: "It is a dynamic process that seeks to cater to a nation's internal needs and external environment."
Pakistan’s current interests included socio-economic development, working towards a peaceful neighbourhood, protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and finding the solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and also as per aspirations of the valley’s people, he said at the course that concluded on Wednesday.
He said India could carry out a false flag operation at Line of Control to divert attention from its crimes. “We have a firm resolve that if India chose the path of aggression, Pakistan would be fully ready to defend itself,” he said.
“The greatest challenge for our foreign policy today is how to stand up to Hindutva ideology and sustain and add momentum to the moral, political and diplomatic support to the just struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination while preserving peace,” he said.
Speakers at the course included Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Additional Foreign Secretary (Americas) Aftab Khokhar, Expert on International Law Ahmer Bilal Soofi, former caretaker defence minister and former defence secretary Lt Gen (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi, Institute of Strategic Studies Director General Aizaz Chaudhry and Advisor to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Husain.
A mix of participants joined the course including legislators and office bearers of the two key political parties including the PTI and the PML-N. The course was also attended by National Party President Senator Hasil Bizenjo and journalist Saleem Safi.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2019.