Oct 17, 2019, 2:40 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83521352
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Pakistan doing everything to help de-escalation in region: FM Qureshi

Islamabad, Oct 17, IRNA -- Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday that Pakistan is doing everything to help lower tensions and ensure preservation of regional peace and security.

Speaking at Air University in Islamabad about “Pakistan’s Foreign Policy”, he said that as part of the peace efforts, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Iran and Saudi Arabia to defuse tensions and promote peace and stability in the region.

He added that conflict in the Middle East could have devastating consequences for the entire world, and Pakistan’s economy as well.

“We are, therefore, doing everything within our means to help lower tensions and ensure preservation of regional peace and security,” said the minister.

“I can tell you that we are encouraged by the initial consultations as there is already discernible de-escalation. We hope there will be willingness to employ political and diplomatic means to resolve differences and disputes. We would all be winners if these efforts are fruitful and we have a region focused on cooperation, rather than confrontation,” he said.

He noted that the center of gravity of global economic power is shifting from the West to the East.

“On the positive side, ours is also a region with tremendous potential for development and regional connectivity,” added the minister.

He said that Pakistan desires peace and strategic stability in order to focus on its socio-economic development agenda.

“Our conduct continues to be defined by restraint and responsibility, and the avoidance of an arms race,” Qureshi said.

He said that turmoil and protracted war in Afghanistan has immeasurably affected Pakistan and its society.

“Pakistan maintained for a long time that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. We are gratified that our position is vindicated and there is, today, an across-the-board agreement in favour of a political settlement,” added the foreign minister.

He said Pakistan is fully supporting peace and reconciliation, to be achieved through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. 

Qureshi noted China remains our closest friend and a steadfast partner. Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership is an anchor for peace and stability in the region.

“This relationship has expanded and diversified a great deal in past few years and we will continue to reinforce our ties to protect and promote our strategic, economic, trade, people-to-people and investment interests,” he said.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s development agenda and expeditious completion of CPEC projects is a high priority of our government.

He further said that Pakistan is committed to have a broad-based, long-term, and enduring partnership with the US.

“Our endeavor is to cast this relationship on the principles of mutual respect, mutual interest and mutual benefit,” said the minister.

He added Pakistan has achieved significant success in fighting terrorism at a staggering human and financial cost. Terrorist networks have been disrupted and their infrastructure degraded.

“We do not see our quest for security as a zero-sum game. Rather, we believe in win-win outcomes, maximizing the dividends for all,” he said.

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