Foreign policy should be made in Foreign Office: Senator Mushahid


ISLAMABAD: Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that the committee will speak with one voice on Pakistan’s foreign policy which should be made in the Foreign Office.

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee met here on Thursday at the Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid. Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, along with Foreign Secretary and the Foreign Office team, gave a comprehensive, two and half hour briefing to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on various issues ranging from the Pompeo visit, the visit of Iranian foreign minister, FATF, Pakistan’s relations with the Muslim world, CPEC, Afghanistan and India.

At the outset, Senator Mushahid was joined by his colleagues in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to extend heartiest congratulations to the new foreign minister and they extended their full cooperation to him in the performance of his professional functioning.

Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he had great respect for the Parliament and for the Foreign Affairs Committee and he would be looking forward guidance from the Foreign Affairs Committee in the formulation of Foreign Policy and he said he would take the lead from parliament and the Foreign Affairs Committee would be kept in the loop on foreign policy issues.

The members of the committee expressed their reservations over President Trump’s South Asia policy which they said was one-sided and biased since it was promoting India as an American partner against China and they also expressed their concern over the Indian activities in Afghanistan which was to the detriment of Pakistan’s national interests.

During the briefing, the foreign minister underlined that CPEC is a key national project formed with consensus and the Government was committed to promoting CPEC to take it forward.  He also said that he would be visiting Afghanistan soon and next week, foreign ministers of China and Turkey would be visiting Pakistan.

The meeting also offered Fateha for the martyrs who defended the motherland with their blood on the occasion of Defene of Pakistan Day. The senator said that the entire nation solute the martyrs who had given their precious lives so that the future generations could live in peace.  The members also offered Fateha for Syed Ahmad Kirmani, father of Asif Kirmani, who was a distinguished leader of the Pakistan Movement.

Senator Mushahid also announced that a Public Hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee would be held on Pakistan’s Foreign Policy on September 12, 2018, where two leading experts on foreign policy, former Foreign Secretary, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jillani and Mr Mueed Yousaf from the US Institute of Peace would give presentations.

The meeting was attended by Senators Mohammad Javed Abbasi, Asif Kirmani, Nuzhat Sadiq, Asad Junejo, Rehman Malik, Sherry Rehman, Anwarul Haq Kakar, Sitara Ayaz and Secretary of the Committee, Dr Syed Pervaiz Abbas.