September 08 , 2017

Pakistan won’t budge to any external threat: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has made it clear that Pakistan wouldn’t budge to any external threat and insinuation on any count. He said Pakistan will face any situation with courage and dignity. He urged the Foreign Office and Pakistan’s diplomats working abroad to concentrate on economic diplomacy and enhance trade ties with the world since Pakistan needs to avail its potential in all relevant fields.

He was addressing the Envoys Conference at the Foreign Office on Thursday that ended here after its three-day deliberations. The conference was attended among others by the country’s ambassadors/high commissioners in 10 important capitals, federal ministers Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Pervez Malik and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

The Envoys Conference has formulated extensive and comprehensive recommendations for future course of action in the wake of upcoming challenges for the foreign policy and the country. Prime Minister Abbasi maintained that the Foreign Office had been working hard to deal with difficult situations. He brushed aside the impression that the Afghan imbroglio could be sorted out through military methods. He was of the view that political settlement is the only answer to the situation prevailing in Afghanistan. He expressed doubts about the success of new policy of the United States announced by President Donald Trump recently as it had already proved counterproductive.

The prime minister warned that India should be stopped from using the soil of Afghanistan to harm Pakistan by fuelling terrorism. The concluding session of the Envoys Conference continued for more than three hours and it also included question and answer session. The prime minister raised certain pertinent questions regarding the country’s external ties with special reference to specific countries and regions. He said that it wouldn’t be possible that the Afghan battle was fought on the soil of Pakistan. He said Pakistan is keen to see peace and stability in Afghanistan since it is linked with peace and stability of Pakistan. He said Pakistan is willing to play positive role for finding an amicable solution of Afghan problem.

The conference was also addressed by Pakistan’s permanent representative for the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi via video link. Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington Aizaz Chaudhry gave detailed resume about Pakistan-US relations and new trends emerging in the relationship. He was of the opinion that Pakistan has to tackle the situation with wisdom and skill instead of becoming emotional about it. The participants discussed potential strength of the foreign policy and options available in view of the geo-political and regional situation. The conference choreographed recommendations for evolving country’s strategy to deal with the thorny issues of US new narrative towards the region especially about Pakistan.

Rohingya Muslims’ miseries and other significant subjects related to the foreign affairs also came up for deliberations. The conference articulated recommendations pertaining to conspicuous foreign affairs issues with particular reference to US President Donald Trump’s recent assertions about Pakistan where he hurled baseless allegations and insinuations against Pakistan. The recommendations would be discussed by the federal cabinet and National Security Committee (NSC) separately. The NSC is being convened soon for drawing further line of action regarding the issues discussed in three-day close door sittings of the envoys. It was second such huddle of the envoys posted at important capitals this year. The last one was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the eruption of Gulf countries crisis when standoff between Saudi Arabia and Qatar had become source of souring for the strategists of the foreign affairs here early this year.

The situation of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s ties with India in the backdrop of grave human rights violation in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and its role in fomenting terrorism on Pakistan’s soil figured prominently in the conference. The situation in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region was yet another subject of discussion. The upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where Pakistan will raise the issue of Kashmir was also deliberated upon by the conference. The conference discussed the issue of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar who are facing genocide at the hands of anti-Muslim forces of that country. Incidentally, India has stood by the coercive forces of Myanmar. The ambassadors/high commissioners of Pakistan working at important capitals including Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry (Washington-US), Masood Khalid (Beijing-China), Qazi Khalilullah (Moscow-Russia), Admiral Hisham Siddque (Riyadh-Saudi Arabia), Sohail Mahmood (New Delhi-India), Muhammad Shehzad (Doha-Qatar), Naghmana Hashmi (Brussels-European Union/Belgium), Asif Khan Durrani (Tehran-Iran), Moazzam Khan (Abu Dhabi-UAE), Zahid Nasarullah (Kabul-Afghanistan) took part in the deliberations and submitted their brief about their respective host counties position pertaining to Pakistan’s interest. Few ambassadors/high commissioners had meeting with the foreign minister separately.

Meanwhile, the federal cabinet, while representing the people of Pakistan, condemned the atrocities being perpetrated on Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar. The cabinet that held its important meeting here at the Prime Minster Office on Thursday evening under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi adopted a strong-worded resolution and said, “The Government of Pakistan condemns the cold-blooded and callous genocide of innocent Rohingya Muslims, including women, children and even infants under the direct patronage of state institutions of Myanmar.”

The resolution said that the brutal and barbaric acts perpetrated against the unarmed civilian population not only constitute state terrorism, but also question the collective human conscience across nations and societies. These atrocities have also revealed the appalling hypocrisy of the democratic leadership of Myanmar.

“We call upon Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to take immediate steps to stop the atrocities being committed in Myanmar where her party is in power. We also call upon the United Nations to take the lead, which it must under its mandate, in stopping immediately the genocide of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar,” the members of the federal cabinet urged in one-voice on behalf of fellow people.



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