ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Senate was informed on Friday that Pakistan was pursuing a policy of good relations with all the Countries of the region but unfortunately, its positive overtures had not been reciprocated by India.
Replying to a question during question hour in the Upper House on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Minister for Power Sardar Awais Khan Leghari said Pakistan strived to maintain close, cordial and mutually supportive relationship with its neighboring Countries including Afghanistan and India.
The minister said Pakistan wanted resolution of all outstanding issues with India including Jammu and Kashmir. He said in line with the government’s vision of a peaceful and friendly neighborhood, the policy of good relations had been consistently reiterated during high level engagements as well as other official interactions.
Leghari also said Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Afghanistan and believes that peace and stability in Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan.
The minister said multiple leadership level and other visits including parliamentary delegations, senior diplomatic and military official visits took place between the two Countries.
Awais Leghari said Pakistan participated in the first meeting of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers Dialogue in December 2017, in Beijing and three sides reaffirmed their commitment to improving their relations, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and taking joint steps against terrorism and not let any Country, group or individual to use their territory for violence anywhere.
“For decades, Pakistan has been home to millions of our Afghan brethren. We have extended 6,000 fully funded scholarships for Afghan students in Pakistan in addition, we, undertake capacity building programmes of Afghans from various professions,” he said.
In addition, the minister said friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and both the Countries were strategic cooperative partners.
“Our robust partnership is based on principles of trust, cooperation and goodwill. We have undertaken numerous measures in political, cultural, economic, defence and other fields to further enhance this relationship,” he added.
Leghari said China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) was progressing remarkably and many projects were in implementation phase while extensive planning is under way on all others.
Regarding relations with Iran, the minister said the ties were further strengthening and bilateral exchanges had increased at the highest level.
The minister said Pakistan and Iran also signed Banking and Payments Arrangement (BPA) in last year which would strengthen and improve the trade between the two Countries in the coming years.
Sardar Awais Khan Leghari said different mechanisms on border and security matters were activated including Joint Border Commission, High Border Commission and Special Security Committee.
Leghari said both sides also decided to resume a fortnightly passenger train service between them by September 2018.
To a question, he said during the last four years, an amount of Rs 5,405.38 million was paid on rents by Embassies/Missions in United States and European Countries for all persons including ambassadors/high commissioners and other officer/officials of all Wings.
The minister also informed that there was no Pakistani prisoner in the jails of Syria.