ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The newly elected Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday underlined the need to revisit Pakistan’s foreign policy, and said the interest of the Country would steer the foreign policy of Pakistan.
In his first Press Conference at the Foreign Office in Islamabad after he took the Oath as the Country’s foreign minister along with 20 other Federal Cabinet members, Qureshi said they would leave no stone unturned to bring perpetual peace in the region.
Today as I take charge of the Foreign Office I am well aware of the challenges we face. The road ahead is not easy but we shall prevail, together, as one nation. Insha’Allah!
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) August 20, 2018
“We can improve the wellbeing of a common man, and Pakistan’s socio-economic development is our priority,” he said adding the region was facing numerous challenges and they knew how to handle those.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said certain powers wished to push Pakistan into isolation. He said unfortunately Pakistan had no foreign minister for four years, and added their enemies exploited that vacuum.
The foreign minister further said they would build a bi-partisan approach. He said he would take the former Foreign Ministers Hina Rabbani Khar and Khawaja Muhammad Asif into confidence while revisiting their foreign policy.
“I offer major opposition parties and their former foreign ministers to sit together and i will remain in touch with them,” he said.
Qureshi also said the United Nations meeting was about to take place next month, and in which he would participate as the foreign minister of Pakistan.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he would call the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, and he would like to visit Kabul. He said Pakistan and Afghanistan could find a solution for peace in bilateral relations. He said five-track foreign policy with Afghanistan would continue.
In addition, he said his message to the External Affairs Minister of India that they were their neighbors and both the Countries were atomic powers.
“We have only one solution to our conflicts and that is dialogue. Both Countries cannot afford any adventurism,” Qureshi said. “We have to engage ourselves with each other. We have outstanding issues like Kashmir, and we have to solve this issue with dialogue.”
The foreign minister said the former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was no more with them but he tried to resolve the Kashmir issue. He said dialogue was the only solution for finding peace in the region.
Furthermore, he said his message to staff of Pakistan Embassies that they were not Hakim (rulers) but servicemen for the people of the Country
“I want to see a change in the behavior of our Diplomatic Corp and diplomats must give respect to Overseas Pakistanis,” he added.
It is worth mention here that Shah Mehmood Qureshi also remained Pakistan’s Foreign Minister from 2008 to 2011 in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government. However, he resigned as the foreign minister in February 2011 following the Raymond Davis affair, and then even parted away with PPP and resigned as the member of the National Assembly in November 2011.