News

Musharraf attends detailed briefing on Foreign Policy

ASSOCIATED PRESS OF PAKISTAN NEWS SUMMARY (20-11-1999)

ISLAMABAD, Nov 20 (APP): Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf On Nov. 19 spent the entire day at the Foreign Office for a briefing on the Foreign Policy of Pakistan and organizational matters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Welcoming the Chief Executive, Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said the Chief Executive's visit reflected his deep interest in foreign policy and the role of the Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Minister stated that international community has reacted to the Chief Executive's sincerity of approach and the agenda set forth by him positively and with understanding. "The international community now has a better appreciation of the circumstances of the change of government in Pakistan and its priorities for reform and democratization," he said. Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed gave a detailed briefing on all aspects of Pakistan's foreign policy with particular focus on its future direction. The Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan's foreign policy was rooted in its Islamic ethos, its values, its commitment to international norms and the geo-political environment. "The safeguarding of our security, promotion of our national interests and economic development constituted the pivot of our Foreign Policy." In a volatile geo-strategic environment, he said, the foreign policy of Pakistan was its first line of defence. Consistent with the objectives of our Foreign Policy, the Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan wanted good relations with all countries on the basis of sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs. The detailed policy review took into account the state of Pakistan's relations with the major powers including the United States, Russia and China, the Islamic world and Pakistan's neighbours as well as nuclear and security issues, Islamabad's trade and economic interests and the welfare of Pakistani community abroad.

The Foreign Secretary said Pakistan would continue to engage with the US on various important issues with sensitivity and in the spirit of traditional friendship, which has characterized Pakistan-, US relations. During the briefing, Pakistan's positive approach to non-proliferation issues including CTBT was reiterated. "It was agreed that Pakistan would continue its policy of responsibility and restraint and maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrence in the interest of regional peace and stability." The improved relations with Russia were considered of great significance. "Pakistan would continue to endeavor for enhancement of economic and commercial ties and an across-the-board expansion of relations with Russia." The compulsive Indian hostility and her current propaganda campaign against Pakistan were noted, "with great regret." To deflect attention from her own state-sponsored terrorism, and repression against the Kashmiris, India has been raising the bogey of cross-border terrorism. "Nevertheless, Pakistan would maintain its positive attitude towards a purposeful dialogue with India for resolution of all disputes including the core issue of Kashmir." It was resolved that Pakistan would steadfastly continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris until the attainment of their right of self-determination in accordance with the UN Resolutions. "The Kashmiris have offered enormous sacrifices in their continued indigenous struggle against the Indian occupation." "The international community, particularly the supporters of Human Rights must speak up against Indian atrocities and prevail upon India to honour its commitments to the Kashmiris." Relations with the Islamic world particularly with the Gulf countries were considered as the key element in Pakistan's Foreign Policy. "These relations would be further strengthened in all fields." The Chief Executive was informed that high priority was accorded to reinforcing of the traditionally friendly and close relations with Iran.

"Relations with China are the corner-stone of the Foreign Policy of Pakistan." Over the years these ties have gained strength. The enduring nature of the Sino-Pak friendship was strongly reaffirmed. "Pakistan will further consolidate its strategic relationship with China in the coming millennium." Pakistan desires durable peace, stability and national reconciliation in Afghanistan. "A broad-based government in Afghanistan would be in the interest of the Afghan people," it said and added, "Pakistan would continue to cooperate with the Six Plus Two and friendly countries for consolidation of peace in Afghanistan and encourage greater engagement between Taliban and the international community." The role of Pakistan Missions abroad in advancing our economic interests was emphasized. Several proposals were discussed for enhancing the effectiveness of our embassies abroad in this regard. Concrete proposals for the promotion of the welfare of the expatriate Pakistani community were also considered. It was decided that the community should be better mobilized to promote its role in the nation building efforts. The Chief Executive emphasized that Pakistan Missions abroad must vigorously, and in coordination with various Ministries and Agencies of the Government, project the correct image of Pakistan as a progressive and moderate Islamic country.