Speakers suggest resilient foreign policy to ensure independence, sovereignty

  • ‘US ‘do more’ policy should be dealt with constitutional vision guided by national interest’

LAHORE: Pakistan desperately needs a resilient foreign policy to ensure its political and economic independence and sovereignty. The ‘do more’ policy of the US should be dealt with constitutional vision guided by national interest without getting carried away. On the back of US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestine issue has taken a centre stage which will set the tone for future relations between Muslims world and Americans.

These were the views expressed in the discussion forum held by the Pakistan Foreign Affairs and Media Institute (PFAMI) here on Friday. Former foreign affairs secretary Shamshad Ahmed, academician Dr Rashid Ahmed, foreign affairs expert and political leader Muhammad Mehdi, TV anchor and columnist Sohail Warriach, Javed Farooqi, Adnan Khan Kakar and other senior journalists joined the discussion.

“If Pakistan wants to live as a living nation, a vibrant foreign policy is a must,” Shahmshad said while defining how to design foreign policy in the new emerging scenario in which Pakistan is to make sure its survival and freedom. He opined that dream of transforming Pakistan as a welfare state may be materialised if the country never let its sovereignty and national interest get impaired by any influence.

He said that relations with the countries ought to be on equality basis as envisaged by Pakistan founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Prof Dr Rashid Ahmed said that new status of Jerusalem was reflective of President Trump’s anti-Islam hostility embedded into his policy from the day first. He said that its repercussions may be unleashed in the shape of the US isolation, EU tension, escalation in terrorism and unrest in the entire world.

PFAMI chairman Muhammad Mehdi said that the foreign policy, true soul of national interest, required to represent Pakistan as a responsible and a strong country with forward looking approach. Shedding light on the connotation of his organisation, he said that their think tank designed to thrash out serious discussions on the foreign policy, international relations and diplomacy. “It also aims to reinvent role of media in the foreign policy and building up Pakistan-centric narrative with adaptive vision.”

Editor Adnan Kakar said that people-to-people contact should be given a due role to help improve Pakistan’s foreign affairs with the world, saying positive and negative public perceptions could never be ruled out in disturbing the foreign policy.

PFAMI President Yasir Habib Khan, executive member Javed Farooqi, Imran Adnan, Anwar Sumra said that being a non-profit and nonpartisan institute, the think-tank dedicated to improve the understanding of the foreign policy and international affairs through the free exchange of ideas. “It plays a role of bridge among the main stakeholder – the public, the government and media to suggest and help strategise connotations of the foreign policy, they said.

They said that PFAMI was determined to promote, safeguard and defend the national interest of Pakistan. It is programmed to contribute towards the building of a secure, equitable and democratic international community. “Upholding the banner of keep engaging all especially neighbours in lows and high times, it fosters multilateral growth through the expansion of ties and to fully integrate Pakistan into the global relations,” they concluded.