ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Khurram Dastgir Khan on Thursday said Pakistan has achieved measurable success through a regional recalibration of its foreign policy.
He was briefing reporters along with Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal about the foreign policy achievements of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.
The minister said in line with this policy, Pakistan entered into strategic partnership with China and launched the historic project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“In order to cover up for its defeat during its war in Afghanistan, US pressurises Pakistan,” the foreign minister said.
“Relations with the US are important and we wish to continue talks with them,” the foreign minister asserted.
Responding to a question regarding the downward trend in Pakistan-US relations after 9/11, Dastgir said, “In 2011, a few incidents happened which deteriorated our relations.”
“First was the Raymond Davis incident, then the attack on World Trade Centre masterminded by Osama Bin Laden and then the Salala incident in which US forces martyred 24 Pakistani soldiers,” he said.
Dastgir continued, “However, Pakistan has moved forward from these incidents through operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad and we have tried to explain that to our American partners repeatedly.”
“But the American mindset is stuck in 2011,” he lamented.
Stating that the US has not changed its perception of Pakistan since 2011, the foreign minister said, “You can deduce this from their statements.”
“Although, our American partners acknowledge the sacrifices of the armed forces and the nation but they do not appreciate the operations,” he continued.
“They haven’t acknowledged how much Pakistan has done to free itself of terrorism,” he regretted.
Dastgir further said, “Our American partners who visited Islamabad always stressed on the action in North Waziristan and we took action. PML-N government and armed forces gave exemplary sacrifices to break the backbone of terrorists.”
Shifting focus to relations with India, Dastgir said, “We tried to improve relations with India but did not receive a positive response from them.”
Regarding relations with India in the future, the foreign minister said, “When a new government is sworn in they will decide on how to take forward relations with India depending on their mandate.”
“Pakistan raised the issue of Indian atrocities in Kashmir on every forum,” he stressed.