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Sartaj Aziz, Nawaz Sharif and Tariq Fatemi attending the envoys' conference at the Foreign Office on Wednesday. ─ PM House.
Sartaj Aziz, Nawaz Sharif and Tariq Fatemi attending the envoys' conference at the Foreign Office on Wednesday. ─ PM House.

ISLAMABAD: An 'objective assessment' of Pakistan's foreign relations since the PML-N government came to power "does not support the view projected in sections of the media that Pakistan is being isolated and its foreign policy lacks direction", Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said at the concluding session of the envoys' conference held at the Foreign Office on Wednesday.

Read more: Pakistan's foreign policy betrays deep domestic insecurities

Pakistan's 'monumental' foreign policy achievements over the past three years, according to Sartaj Aziz:

• Pak-China ties
• Casa-1000 power project
• Tapi gas pipeline
• Restoration of air links with C. Asian countries
• Shanghai Cooperation Organisation membership
• Resumption of dialogue with US
• Deeper economic links to EU, Russia
• Exporting labour to Middle Eastern countries

Flanked by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who also addressed conference participants during the session, Aziz said Pakistan's "monumental achievements" over the past three years are illustrated by the undertaking of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and a strategic partnership with China.

Pakistan's second greatest foreign policy achievement since the PML-N came to power is enhanced cooperation with Central Asian republics in the form of the Casa-1000 power project and the Tapi gas pipeline ─ construction on which began in May 2016 and December 2015 respectively ─ and restoration of air links with C. Asian countries, Aziz said.

Read more: Foreign policy or fiasco?

Membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which reflects "new geo-political alignments" will show Pakistan is "on the right side of history", Aziz said. The bloc was originally formed to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan. Other members include China, Russia, India and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The foreign affairs adviser went on to list strategic dialogue with the United States, broadening the agenda from security to geo-economics "while protecting national interests", deeper trade ties to the European Union and Russia, and "strengthening economic ties" with Middle Eastern countries through exporting labour as part of Pakistan's foreign policy achievements.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the concluding session said Pakistan has concerns on certain issues and expects other countries to 'take care of them', Radio Pakistan reported.

The premier added that other countries' concerns will also have to be understood by Pakistan.

Nawaz urged envoys to promote a positive image of Pakistan to other countries, saying the responsibility to introduce Pakistan as an emerging market rests with ambassadors, who should take up the promotion of foreign investment in Pakistan as their mission.

Resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions is a cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy, Nawaz said, adding that envoys should apprise the world that the dispute is not an internal matter of India.

The prime minister was of the opinion that the CPEC would prove to be a 'game-changer' and guarantee regional peace and prosperity for Pakistan.

The premier also said the quadrilateral mechanism for Afghan peace talks should be taken forward, and that Pakistan would support efforts focusing on reviving peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used against any other country, he said.

The envoys' conference was to take up issues including ties with India (especially within the context of the Kashmir uprising), US, Afghanistan, China, Russia, and the EU; the Saarc summit; Nuclear Suppliers Group membership and disarmament affairs; and terrorism and UN-related matters.

The envoys attending the conference are Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani (Washington), Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi (United Nations — New York), High Commissioner Abdul Basit (New Delhi), Ambassador Masood Khalid (Beijing), Ambas­sador Qazi Khalilullah (Moscow), Am­bassador Tehmina Janjua (Uni­ted Nations — Geneva and Confe­rence on Disarmament), Ambassador Nagmana Hashmi (Brussels and EU), Ambassador Ayesha Riyaz (Vienna and IAEA) and Ambassador Abrar Hussain (Kabul).

Comments (69) Closed

Potya Aug 03, 2016 12:50pm

Only one friend China...Good Policy..keep it up..

Asif Aug 03, 2016 12:53pm

ha haha except China and turkey pak doesn't have any friends. same with one are friends with China.birds of the same feather flock togethet

AZAAD Aug 03, 2016 12:54pm

Really!!! These are "achievements"? Most countries would take this as less than imporessive.

Dr.Sadaf Aug 03, 2016 12:58pm

Where are the monumental achievements, have not seen or heard of any, please somebody explain.

Angry Pitbull Aug 03, 2016 12:59pm

First of all where is the Foreign minister ?

Nawaz Aziz Aug 03, 2016 01:00pm

Hahaha. Made my day !!!

OMG Aug 03, 2016 01:01pm

Real achivement.. sartaj must frame it onto a wall.

Abdul Latif Mari Aug 03, 2016 01:04pm

Pakistan has nothing to show except CPEC, that will also come to haunt the next governments. On each front whether economy, foreign policy, governance, export/import each member of the PML-N government has been boasting of CPEC as if it has revolutionised the country.

Very Sad!!!!

SAT GOEL Aug 03, 2016 01:13pm

Amusement for the envoys in an otherwise dull conference.

rich Aug 03, 2016 01:13pm

Aziz is truly a great statesman

Angry Pitbull Aug 03, 2016 01:15pm

Another feather decorated on the cap of Mr.Sartaj ...........bravo .....self proclaimed achievements

Khawar Saleem Aslam Aug 03, 2016 01:18pm

Sartaj Aziz has listed very tangible achievements which must be appreciated. I may add also that Pakistan's position on Yemen crisis was also very well handled despite the difficulties created by opposition parties and vested interests. Only problem is American agenda or interests which then directly affects relations with India and Afghanistan. Still relations with America had been managed without compromising Pakistan's interests.

Asif Ahmed Aug 03, 2016 01:19pm

CPAC is a monumental success of Chinese Foreign Policy and not the other way round. China is the only country that sides with Pakistan due to obvious reasons.

Other than that we have nothing in our basket. Mr. Sartaj Aziz knows it quite well and is just reacting very callously to a dire situation.

Truth serum Aug 03, 2016 01:23pm

Absolutely commendable work by Mr. Sartaz Aziz. Now he should take retirement at the peak of his self-verified glory.

debusen Aug 03, 2016 01:24pm

Just one example: F-16 fiasco That's THE achievement. Ha ha ha. Please ask some one else to beat your dram! You don'do yourself. In the job you have not yet learned the basic diplomacy.

P Blr Aug 03, 2016 01:25pm

Mr.Sartaj Aziz would like to know Exporting labour to Middle Eastern countries can be called achievement of the foreign policy.

Angry Pitbull Aug 03, 2016 01:27pm

Before passing this comment Mr.Aziz should have gone through the news published in Dawn today

abdul Aug 03, 2016 01:41pm

Exporting labour to Middle Eastern countries- How is this an achievement?Hasnt Pakistan been exporting labour to ME countries since the 50-60's?

Guest Aug 03, 2016 01:45pm

@Khawar Saleem Aslam American agenda or interests are the real problem for Pakistan but also has been source of much needed dollars. Pakistan does have some solid friends like China, KSA and Turkey but none of them are very generous.

Ilias from NL Aug 03, 2016 01:58pm

No matter if for the time being Pakistan has not much options to go with but we are really on a right side of the history, now we all Pakistanis have to work hard honestly to make CPEC successful because this is the door to enter in to the larger prosper economic and Geo-political zones, so I would of course take these achievements as "Monumental" Sooner or later the World will witness that glories we have adopted being isolated !!!

raheem Aug 03, 2016 02:14pm

Fools Paradise or Joke of the year?

Arslan Aug 03, 2016 02:16pm

PMLN trying to take credit for CPEC yet again that they didn't even know about until they came to government.

Haroon Salam Aug 03, 2016 02:17pm

Great..Congratulations. Keep it up

UZAIR Aug 03, 2016 02:18pm

We know Indians are afraid of success of CPEC and our superior foreign policy with China, Russia, Turkey and rest of the world. We Pakistanis have full faith on the government and experience of Aziz Sahab.

Armu Aug 03, 2016 02:20pm

Let’s stop kidding ourselves. The reality of today's world for us is that without indigenous real economic and security strength no one will pay any tangible respect to us and allow us to continue to decay … In the league of nations we paint ourselves as someone whose woes are responsibility of others whereas in reality it is self-inflicted pitiful state !!

Hyder Aug 03, 2016 02:22pm


The proof of your dodgy foreign policy is that the trusted friendship with Iran has been turned sour, Afghanistan and India are openly waging proxy war against you and China may turn away due to struggle with who will control the economic corridor!!!

cp Aug 03, 2016 02:38pm

Either he don't know real meaning of monumental or don't know what he should called monumental. Probability of 2nd is high as he a learned man.So he is talking scrap for politics and making fool of himself.

No Nonsense Aug 03, 2016 02:39pm

What?? Exporting labour is a foreign policy achievement? Never heard of this. I thought people just seek jobs abroad themselves by paying to the agents, by their own qualification and expertise etc. How Mr. Aziz is helping them to get jobs abroad?

Iqbal Ahmed Aug 03, 2016 02:45pm

We have no friends but masters like Saudi Arabia, China and Turkey.

PS Aug 03, 2016 02:59pm

@Asif hahaha agree.

picasso Aug 03, 2016 03:19pm

Nothing is noteworthy except CPEC,, CPEC is no doubt a monumental achievement and for this credit goes to pak army

Aziz Aug 03, 2016 03:23pm

Policy making is a "monumentally foreign" concept for Nawaz Sharif and his administration. It is do enamoured of Adhoc-ism. How can Mr. Aziz take credit for it when the entire idea was conceived and delivered by the Chinese. The people of Pakistan have not been taken into confidence regarding this project.

Ahmed Aug 03, 2016 03:26pm

@UZAIR in fact Indians aren't afraid from the success of CPEC. Indians have access to Chabahar port to have import and export very easily to Central Asia and Afghanistan. your foreign policy totally going wrong and it's time to review your foreign policy. you are don't have full faith on you GOV and have full faith on China and US. one day you will leave alone the mention countries. if your foreign policy is successful why you have not good relation with your neighbors countries like India, Bangladesh, Iran and Afghanistan.

SB Aug 03, 2016 03:27pm

Happyness is key to good health. Be happy and enjoy the achievment. Congratulations.

Balakrishnan Kamesh Aug 03, 2016 03:33pm

Well done Sartaz sahib...

SAEED MASOOD Aug 03, 2016 03:38pm

We need improvements in our foreign policy and relations, unfortunately many countries which are very near to Pakistan have demands and conditions for friendship, this time will pass Pakistan must continue to stay neutral...

DocOne Aug 03, 2016 03:39pm

@picasso Just one question. ...has Pakistan earned anything yet due to CPEC ? How much % growth in GDP is achieved ? How many jobs are created ? Is there any growth in Pakistai goods ? Exporting workforce means there is lack of homegrown industries.

Dr.Arshad Aug 03, 2016 03:44pm

CASA 1000 exists only on papers, Chinese investment is for securing chinese interests in this region, US is wary of our policies and forming closer ties with India, Afghanistan's leadership doesn't trust our leadership,CIS countries are themselves dependent on Russia for their economic and political survival, Bangladesh and India don't trust us,Arab states(GCC) are feeling the economic and fiscal crunch ; one wonders how can they support our workers when their own youth is unemployed,OIC is dysfunctional as ever and so are SAARC and ECO the list is endless but our FO advisor is bent on calling this policy monumental!

Fareed Aug 03, 2016 04:02pm

CPEC with 17% interest is the greatest achievement? China is providing pakistan with loan that cannot be re paid,In effect there will be situation will come in future where Pakistan cannot pay. Then China will take control of full CPEC and effectively a gulam will come into effect.

J. Niaz Aug 03, 2016 04:06pm

All this has been achieved in a difficult period of time when even the "Super Powers" are going through a degree of uncertainty. Certainly good work by the Foreign Office.

Houlbelat Aug 03, 2016 04:42pm

Self praise is never accepted.

Shehzad Aug 03, 2016 04:46pm

CPEC was given a go ahead during Musharraf's era.

Osman Siddiqi Aug 03, 2016 05:07pm

Exporting of labor to middle eastern countries is 'not' an achievement of foreign policy but a testament to domestic poverty/lack of jobs for labourers AND high skilled labor that is in demand in the UAE.

Houlbelat Aug 03, 2016 05:24pm

@Shehzad : How come no body ever knew ?

SouthIndian Aug 03, 2016 05:29pm

TAPI?? Really?? With cold relations between India and Pakistan you expect it to materialize,Sir?

Nadeem Aug 03, 2016 05:50pm

Monumental achievements?? You are even trying to make CPEC controversial! Chinese arent trusting your civil govt due to your corrupt faces..

Parachinari Aug 03, 2016 05:54pm

We need a proper foreign minister. Someone younger, energetic and dynamic. I'd love to see Maleeha Lodhi perhaps she is extremely a world respected career diplomat

the right left Aug 03, 2016 06:06pm


shafqat a mir Aug 03, 2016 06:26pm


Rafi Ka Deewana Aug 03, 2016 06:46pm

Read this Forbes article about Sri Lanka's debt problems with its friend China, and then think of Pakistan a few years from now. Then decided about the "monumental" part.

Rafi Ka Deewana Aug 03, 2016 06:49pm

@Fareed: Agree 100%. Sri Lanka is having serious problem with China

AHA Aug 03, 2016 07:00pm

So this is the best policy and let us continue....

msadiq Aug 03, 2016 07:01pm

Well done Team Sartaj Aziz ! Keep up the good work, frustrated people are everywhere !

alvina Aug 03, 2016 07:11pm

as far as CPEC is concerned it is also being projected after acheiving persnol intersts of the current goverment as well as the fake ranks of governmnt officials also promulgated

SK Aug 03, 2016 07:11pm

Keep it up sir, great going.

Zak Aug 03, 2016 07:18pm

@SouthIndian he was being kind. It is actually TAPC now.

Kk Aug 03, 2016 07:28pm

Without a foreign minister they have been able to make friendship with China it's creditable. Full marks to Nawaz Sharif government.

Satyameva Jayate Aug 03, 2016 07:30pm

@Ilias from NL - "now we all Pakistanis have to work hard honestly to make CPEC successful": Like we did to make Reko Diq Successful, Thar Coal successful, Diamer Bhasha successful, Kalabagh successful, and, of course, the Water Car successful.

prasad Aug 03, 2016 07:49pm

@UZAIR Wake up sir..

Zak Aug 03, 2016 08:32pm

@Khawar Saleem Aslam well said and something for trolls to read and understand. Only Pakistani's know the strenght of each relationship and regardless of the discord on the top tiers, the foundations are a different ball game. Not everything said is as it is. Pakistans inroads into Central Asia have been phenomenally succesful, oddly enough on their behest.

Picasso Aug 03, 2016 08:58pm

@DocOne justtt one question,, how can you expect anything without any investment???? How can you say that CPEC is not affecting your GDP growth, your job creation etc, while still u have not invest anything. This is the basic principle that first you have to invest then you can expect. And BTW at this time CPEC is just a paper plan and to make it functional and its conversion to ground reality simply require investments, expenditures and your resources... So be patient sirr...

Razia_kash Aug 03, 2016 10:30pm

Nothing concrete...just an eye wash. We terribly failed on foreign policy, Kashmir is an example. Story is different than what it is being projected by politicians.

Imran Soomro Aug 04, 2016 05:04pm

@Asif China has no friends? It is a reflection of least informed study on your part. Asia, C. Asia, Africa, EU and Latin Americas are geo-strategic partners of China. You should check China's trade relations/figures with these regions. You will get the answer.

Lahori Kid Aug 04, 2016 07:20pm

What foreign policy?

Ayub Aug 04, 2016 09:23pm

The things speak for itself. Self praise is no recommendation.

Praveen... Aug 04, 2016 11:35pm

I hope it can help people of Pakistan. If this is a monumental foreign policy, then do more them. Good for Pakistan!

Rehman Aug 05, 2016 12:32am

Pakistan will soon become the third most powerful country in the world, behind only America and China. And then Kashmir problem will be solved!

jam shed Aug 05, 2016 01:09am

@Abdul Latif Mari It will and grader port is one example.

Secularist Aug 05, 2016 01:09am

@UZAIR The foreign policy of Pakistan is so good and successful that friends abound from all directions. Only Sudanese citizens are welcome in fewer countries than Pakistanis without a visa. Congratulations!