July 01, 2017
US silence on Indian atrocities in IHK dismaying: PM
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday expressed his disappointment over the complete silence of the US on the atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces against innocent Kashmiris.
He expressed these views while chairing a high-level meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
The premier directed the Foreign Ministry to proactively highlight the serious human rights violations being committed in the IHK and the denial of the right to self-determination to the Kashmiris.
The prime minister expressed his satisfaction with Pakistan’s relations with Russia. He also maintained that Pakistan would remain neutral in the ongoing Qatar-Saudi Arabia tension.
There was no knee-jerk reaction to new dimensions of the United States’s ties with India as Pakistan has reiterated its pledge for continued partnership with the US.
The high-level meeting at the Foreign Office under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken the decision to step up global efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue and atrocities being committed by Indian forces in Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK).
The meeting took stock of all the aspects of the country’s external ties and prevailing global trends. It reviewed foreign policy priorities in the wake of recent developments in and around Pakistan and the emerging global and regional scenario.
The meeting was addressed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Secretary Ms Tehmina Janjua. The meeting was attended by all additional foreign secretaries and senior officials.
The sources told The News after the meeting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was satisfied with the Foreign Office’s vigilance and expressed the hope that it would bring about essential improvements in various sections which had been ignored in the past. Pakistan’s relations with the neighbouring countries, the US and developments in the Gulf figured prominently during the course of discussion.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reminded that trade, investment and scientific collaboration should be the strategic pillars of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy. He underscored the importance of securing peace and stability in the region through sustained dialogue and high importance that Pakistan attached to its continued partnership with the United States.
It has officially been stated after the meeting that the prime minister visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Friday to undertake a comprehensive review of the country’s foreign policy priorities in the wake of recent developments in and around Pakistan and emerging global and regional scenario.
In his welcoming remarks, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz recounted the important achievements made in the the foreign policy realm under the prime minister’s stewardship. The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the status of strategic partnership with China and the launch of CPEC, reviving the strategic dialogue with the US, strong relations with Russia, major improvement in relations with Central Asia culminating in Pakistan’s membership of the SCO. The prime minister stated that these achievements were facilitated by significant gains made in fighting terrorism and in achieving economic turnaround.
Foreign Secretary Ms Tehmina Janjua, in her presentation, dwelled on the challenges Pakistan was facing in key areas, including Afghanistan, India and the US. She also briefed the prime minister on the recent developments in the Middle East. The premier underscored the importance of securing peace and stability in the region through sustained dialogue and the high importance that Pakistan attached to its continued partnership with the United States.
In this context, he directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare initiatives on Afghanistan and also on building economic and trade linkages to promote Pakistan’s development.
The prime minister also reiterated his priority for a peaceful neighbourhood and resolution of disputes through dialogue. He appreciated China’s role for improving the Pak-Afghan relations. He also recalled his recent meeting with President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of SCO Summit and their agreement to evolve a bilateral and quadrilateral mechanism for controlling cross-border terrorism.
The prime minister emphasised the importance of highlighting the unmatched contributions and sacrifices made by Pakistan in fighting terrorism and projecting Pakistan’s soft image. He particularly stressed that Pakistan should progressively end its reliance on foreign assistance and funding by developing and generating its own resources. Trade, Investment and scientific collaboration, the prime minister noted, should be the strategic pillars of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy.
Emphasizing the importance of providing efficient and economical consular services to the overseas Pakistanis, the prime minister directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that the services are duly provided. Taking note of the virtual suspension of medical visas, especially for those needing urgent transplants, the prime minister directed that urgent steps be taken to provide such medical facilities across Pakistan at reasonable prices. In this regard, he also directed that a volunteer roster of medical professionals from amongst overseas Pakistani doctors be developed to complement the existing human resource in Pakistan.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary to the Prime Minister (SPM) Fawad Hasan Fawad and some other senior officials.