Lahore : Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday while reiterating his priority for a peaceful neighbourhood and resolution of disputes through dialogue, directed that trade, investment and scientific collaboration, be the strategic pillars of Pakistan’s foreign Policy.
He was speaking here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was given a comprehensive review of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy priorities in the wake of recent developments in and around Pakistan and the emerging global and regional scenario.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, recounted the important achievements made in the Foreign Policy realm under the Prime Minister’s stewardship.
A statement released by the PM’s Media Office said 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 SCO.
The Prime Minister said these achievements were facilitated by significant gains made in fighting terrorism and in achieving the 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.
Prime Minister underscored the importance of securing peace and stability in the region through sustained dialogue and the importance Pakistan attaches 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 directed the Foreign Ministry to proactively highlight the serious human right violations being committed in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and the denial of the right of self-determination to Kashmiris.
In this regard, he expressed disappointment over the complete silence in the US-India joint statement on the atrocities being committed by the Indian Security Forces against innocent Kashmiris.
Prime Minister appreciated China’s role for improving Pakistan-Afghanistan 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 emphasized the importance of highlighting the unmatched contributions and sacrifices made by Pakistan in fighting terrorism and of projecting Pakistan’s soft image.
Prime Minister particularly stressed that Pakistan should progressively end its reliance on foreign assistance and funding by developing and generating its own resources.
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 their services were duly provided in a befitting manner.
Also taking note of the virtual suspension of medical visas, especially for those needing urgent transplants, the Prime Minister directed urgent steps 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
Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar and senior officials of the Foreign Office were also present during the briefing.