ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Wednesday said that Pakistan’s foreign policy was fully cognizant of emergent realities and always responded to the emerging changes in the international environment in line with its national interests.
Winding up discussion in Senate on a motion regarding Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the Riyadh-Based Military Alliance and its impact on Pakistan and implication of the statement of the Chairman US Armed Services Committee in Kabul, he said Pakistan had never compromised on its core interests and faced a decade of sanctions but met the pressures without compromising its core interests.
“When the time came, we responded to the Indian nuclear tests, despite global pressure,” the advisor said and added that despite these differences we maintained positive relations with the United States.
Sartaj Aziz said alliances shifted and transformed while interests remained permanent. He said Countries adopted their foreign policies according to the overall emerging environment that no single country had the capability to shape according to its wishes and priorities.
“We have our concerns and differences with the US, especially with regards to strategic stability in our region but international relations are not a zero-sum game,” he said.
“We will continue to build and strengthen relations with the US and strive to resolve areas of divergences.”
The advisor said Pakistan had achieved considerable success in the past few years in controlling terrorism.
“We have taken decisive action against terrorism, cleared thousands of square kilometres of our area in the tribal region of terrorist’s network and embarked on a road to economic recovery,” he said.
Regarding Middle East crisis, Sartaj Aziz said our policies were aimed at the unity of the Muslim Ummah and “we had welcomed all efforts in promoting mediation and reconciliation in different Middle East disputes.”
“The Saudi initiative is the Islamic Military Alliance to fight against terrorism. Its aims are to build narratives, share intelligences and information and training to fight extremism and terrorism. With our experience in counterterrorism and our close ties with Saudi Arabia it was natural for us to join the coalition and contribute to reduce the scourge of extremism and terrorism.”
Sartaj Aziz said, “With Iran our relations are stable and positive. Our economic cooperation is on the increase and we have agreed to link Chabahar and Gwadar as sister ports.”
The advisor said Pakistan had achieved a number of success and near past including start of China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project, holding successful ECO summit in Islamabad, our membership of SCO, GSP plus agreement with EU and relations with a number of the world countries. He said these achievement fully negated the perception that Pakistan was facing isolation.