Islamabad: Pakistan top diplomat Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday said that Islamabad is working to revive the composite dialogue with India while continuing the back-channel contacts. “The way is being paved for composite dialogue through working groups and back channel diplomacy”, said Mr Aziz.
He said India is not being given one sided relaxation in trade and “we shall fully safeguard our interests”. About ties with Iran, Mr Aziz said, “Iran is our nearest Muslim country and the government is engaged with them to resolve bilateral issues”.
On United States, he stated, Pakistan has made US believe that its previous policy had not favored Pakistan. “Pakistan should not be seen through the Afghan lens. During their previous policy the US had ignored Pakistan’s internal security challenges. Therefore, internal security will also be a component of strategic partnership with the United States”.
He said Pakistan is also seeking investment in different sectors including the energy sector and investment of $ 30 to 32 billion in Pakistan will bring about positive changes. Mr Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, underlined the need for integrated policies to steer country out of prevailing problems.
“The issues cannot be resolved with patch-work and isolated approach. But, we need to have visionary and integrated policies”, he said in National Assembly in his statement on foreign policy. The Advisor deliberated on number of local, regional and global changes and explained that the government is devising future policies keeping in view these changes.
“We are preparing defense and foreign policies that shall be presented before the House within next few weeks”, he said and mentioned to four major areas to be taken care of in the upcoming policies.
Giving brief details of these areas, the Advisor said, internal security and policy of non-interference; economic development through trade and not aid fully benefiting from geographical location; and promoting Pakistan’s image by strengthening democracy and economic institutions in the country shall be “basic components of our policies”.
He said the internal and external threats are also being kept under consideration while framing our policies and he has been briefing the House and Standing Committees on these issues.
“The opinion of the House will also be fully taken care of while framing these policies”, the top diplomat said.
He said the circumstances in other countries and regions also affect “our policies and we are keeping a keen eye on changing regional and global scenario and ensure that Pakistan follows the policy of non-interference. “We have a clear policy of not interfering in other countries affairs. But, we shall also not accept hegemony of any other country”.
Sartaj Aziz said the government is focusing on basic reasons inflicting problems and will focus internal and external challenges to address these problems. He said Pak-Afghan relations are on way to normalcy after the government had made them believe about Pakistan’s policy of non-interference.
“Bringing in a favorite regime in Afghanistan is no more our policy. We have conveyed them and the previous atmosphere of no trust is now improving towards strong bilateral relations”, he said.
Focusing the basic contours of upcoming foreign policy, the Advisor said, “our policy shall focus internal security and economic development through trade and investment. Moreover, Pakistan will fully benefit from its regional importance by extending links to Central Asian states and improve internal security”. He categorically stated that Pakistan is not providing arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Syria
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will also be visiting Iran on invitation of Iranian President.
He explained that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline “is our priority but this project cannot be completed before next three years. There is an issue of sanctions but it could have not affected the project if Iran and Pakistan had sufficient resources. But, when we have to seek financial assistance internationally then the sanctions are a problem”....