Pakistan wants cordial relations with all powers: Qureshi

Published February 12, 2022
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi watches a traditional horse dance during the orange festival in Taxila on Friday. — Dawn
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi watches a traditional horse dance during the orange festival in Taxila on Friday. — Dawn

TAXILA: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday reiterated the PTI-led government’s commitment to not becoming part of bloc politics and to have cordial relations with all powers.

He was talking to newsmen at the ninth orange festival organised at Zaildar House on Friday.

Commenting on the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Russia and the premier’s recent remarks that the United States always used Pakistan for its purposes, Mr Qureshi said: “Whenever the US needed us, they established relations and Pakistan became a frontline state, and then abandoned and slapped sanctions on us when its purposes were served.”

He said the prime minister’s statement was of historical perspective. “We had cordial ties with the United States in the past and will definitely keep cordial relations with Washington in the future as well,” he added.

The prime minister’s Russia visit would open a new chapter in the diplomatic relations between the two countries, the foreign minister said, adding that while safeguarding its geo-political interests, Pakistan consolidated friendship and strengthened bilateral relations with major powers and key partners across all regions without becoming part of any camp.

He said keeping in view regional politics, Pakistan wanted to work with Russia on projects which benefitted Moscow, Islamabad and the entire region. Under the north-south gas pipeline project, Russia could invest and Pakistan would benefit, he said, making it clear that forming a bloc was not on the agenda.

Mr Qureshi said the nation would see a positive outcome from the prime minister’s recent visit to China.

Responding to another question about the recent terrorist attacks in Balochistan, he said there was an interim setup in Afghanistan which had made it sure that the Afghan territory was not used against any other country.

The foreign minister said some elements supported terrorists through finance, weapons and other means but their nefarious designs would be foiled.

He said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan as it was a gateway to the Central Asian states that were strategic partners of Islamabad.

Mr Qureshi also regretted that the Hindutva mindset of the Indian regime had posed a serious threat to regional peace and security, saying the people in India were now raising their voice against the flawed policies and extremist mindset of the Modi government.

Earlier, over 100 Islamabad-based foreign diplomats and members of international non-government organisations (INGOs) saw various activities including horse dancing, rock lifting and folk music at the orange festival.

The festival was organised at the Zaildar House by Syed Zaheer Hussain Shah and Syed Ahsan Shah under the banner of Centre for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS).

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi lauded the Zaildar family’s initiative of promoting the soft image of the country by organising such events.

He urged the diplomats to see the wonderful landscape and culture of the country.

“The actual Pakistan is located outside Islamabad,” he added.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2022

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