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Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on his arrival at Ministry of Foreign Affairs for briefing on Thursday. – Photo by PPI

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was given detailed briefings by Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Secretary Foreign Affairs Jalil Abbas Jilani and other relevant senior officials on Pakistan's foreign policy at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

The prime minister in his observation underscored the importance of projecting a soft image of Pakistan through public diplomacy by encouraging people to people contacts, cultural exchanges and promotion of business and trade the world over.

The prime minister also emphasised the urgency of interacting with the third generation of expatriate Pakistanis especially those living in Europe and the USA as sustainability of their attachment with Pakistan will be a great asset for the country.

The prime minister directed the Foreign Office that it should focus on African countries as well because there exists immense potential of bilateral cooperation and that is the reason as to why focus of many emerging powers was shifting to those countries.

The prime minister said that the prevalence of goodwill in the continent, which was earned due to the successful UN Peace Keeping Mission headed by Pakistan Army, should be leveraged to promote Pakistan's interests.

The prime minister asked officers of the Ministry several questions regarding functioning of Pakistani missions abroad and called upon them to pro-actively pursue the trade diplomacy as it has assumed greater significance in the modern diplomacy.

The prime minister said that Pakistan's foreign policy was confronted with many challenges but expressed his confidence that the Ministry was quite capable of converting these challenges into opportunities for Pakistan. “Pakistan's foreign policy is in safe hands,” he remarked.

Earlier, the foreign minister welcomed the premier in the Foreign Office and said her team present there was the nucleus of the ministry which is endeavouring to achieve foreign policy objectives through our missions abroad and also through interaction with diplomatic community based in Islamabad.

Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani elaborated upon the functioning of the different departments in the ministry. The heads of departments also briefed the prime minister about their functions and role in the context of country's foreign policy.