Govt pursuing suitable foreign policy with futuristic approach: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD, June 20 (APP): Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday said as new alignments were emerging in the regional and global arenas, the present government was pursuing a suitable foreign policy with futuristic approach.

Non-interference, balanced approach, ensuring its security, protecting sovereignty and growth of trade and economy were among the main objectives of the government’s foreign policy and its positive results would be seen in future, he said in an interview with a private television
channel aired on Monday night.

Sartaj Aziz said with the launching of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), enhanced cooperation with China, Central Asian Republics (CARs), the Russian Federation and other countries in diverse fields, progress on regional projects like Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and Central-Asia South-Asia (CASA)-1000,
Pakistan had gained special importance in the region.

Rejecting a view that Indian Prime Minister Modi by visiting the countries, considered close to Pakistan, had pursued an active diplomacy to encircle Pakistan, Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan had close and brotherly relations with the countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, while India being a large economy was trying to attract more trade and investment.

“When Prime Minister Modi undertakes foreign visits, you (media people) say it is active diplomacy and when our Prime Minister goes on foreign visits, you say, he undertakes so many foreign trips,” the Advisor said in a lighter vein.

To a question, he said India wanted its hegemony in the South Asian region, but Pakistan never accepted her hegemony and continued to protect its sovereignty without compromising its just stance of having a nuclear deterrence.

Similarly, the Advisor said, Pakistan never backtracked from its stand of having a composite dialogue with India simultaneously on all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

About Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts on the issue of membership for Nuclear Suppliers Group, Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan had contacted all the 48 member countries and over half of them endorsed its view of giving Pakistan and India simultaneous entry in the NSG.

About Pak-Afghan tension on Torkhum, the Advisor said after the success of Zarb-e-Azb operation and clearing the tribal areas from terrorists, it was vital for Pakistan to have effective border management with Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan was determined to construct gates on all major crossing points along the border with Afghanistan and regulate the movement of people and vehicles.

To a question, Sartaj Aziz said the entry of Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as member would benefit the country a lot, as the role of that organization was getting further strength in the region.

To another question about the United States’ refusal of selling F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, he said the government was looking for other options in that respect.

In response to a question about the recent meeting in General Headquarters (GHQ), the Advisor said the meeting was not called as reported in a section of media rather it was held on his initiative and was aimed at having a coordinated approach on important issues, including the drone strike.

Sartaj Aziz said he himself had contacted the ministers for this meeting, which was not chaired by anyone.