Shifting paradigm: ‘Foreign policy needs to be strengthened’

Defence production secretary stresses better relations with Iran, Afghanistan


Our Correspondent November 06, 2015
Defence Production Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Owais. PHOTO: modp.gov.pk

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would pursue “a balanced foreign policy” to protect strategic interests, Defence Production Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Owais said on Friday.

“Pakistan needs a neutral position in contemporary international and regional strategic environment to tackle any aggression from its adversary and have sustained development,” Owais said while concluding the Strategic Vision Institute’s conference on ‘Emerging Geo-Strategic Landscape in South-West Asia and the Asia Pacific’.

Experts analysed the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape of the region and associated realignments.

Changes considered significant for the region were the advancing nuclearisation of South Asia, US’ Asia pivot, India’s aggressive posture, China’s expanding soft power, Iran’s nuclear deal and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He believed Pakistan would continue facing pressures from India that would try to push Pakistan into an arms race, exploit its internal vulnerabilities, and negatively project Pakistan’s image.

The secretary suggested Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan would have to reconfigure their domestic and foreign policies to ensure stability in the region.

Registrar Air University Air Commodore (retd) Ghulam Mujadid, while discussing role of India in the region and implications for Pakistan, also emphasised on closer cooperation between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan to deal with India’s designs.

Former ambassador Akram Zaki observed in view of the enormity of threat, Pakistan should normalise ties with Afghanistan and continue to improve relations with Iran.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2015.

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