US and Chinese Foreign Ministers to visit Pakistan

US and Chinese Foreign Ministers to visit Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the PTI government will make all out efforts to get Pakistan out of Financial Action Task Force grey list. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad this afternoon, he said the government does not at all like that Pakistan is placed on the black list. He said the government will take every measure on this count.

Foreign Minister said peace in the region is in the best interest of Pakistan and we want to see complete peace in Afghanistan.

He said the US State Department statement after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's telephone call to Prime Minister Imran Khan was not based on reality. Qureshi said Mike Pompeo is expected to visit Pakistan in the first week of September. He said we want good relations with the United States based on mutual respect.

He said Pakistan's attitude on the foreing policy front is not, and will not be, apologetic and we will safeguard our interests with respect and honour.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said regional peace is a top priority of our foreign policy and positive indications have been received from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in this regard.

He said peace in Afghanistan is perquisite for peace in the entire region and Pakistan wants a peaceful Afghanistan.

The Foreign Minister said that Pak-India relations are victim of delay and both the countries will have to look into the prospects as to how they can move forward. He said dialogue is the only way forward to resolve all the outstanding issues between the two countries. He said Iran is our neighbour and Pakistan is desirous of peaceful and stable border with that country. He said the foreign minister of Iran expressed his desire to visit Pakistan and we will warmly welcome him.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pak-China everlasting friendship is unprecedented. He said that his Chinese counterpart also showed his willingness to visit Pakistan very soon. Qureshi said his visit will further expand the existing ties between the two countries.

The Foreign Minister said SAARC is an important forum to promote regional cooperation. However, he regretted that SAARC could not deliver due results.He said oversees Pakistanis are our great asset and they should create a suitable environment and highlight soft image of Pakistan international level. Foreign Minister said political and economic centers of gravity are shifting and the world is again becoming unipolar to multipolar. He said foreign policy should be framed according to the new needs and requirements

The Foreign Minister stressed the need of initiating an inter-institutions dialogue for strong and effective policies.

Regarding Pakistan-India relations, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said we want peace and are not shy of engagement with New Delhi. He said talks are the only way forward, which currently are stalled. He said Kashmir is the core issue between Pakistan and India. He said the government will continue raising Pakistan's point of view in an effective manner on all issues including Kashmir and water.

He said Islamabad needs to understand US compulsions and needs in Afghanistan and Washington should give importance and weightage to Pakistan's point of view.

Regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Foreign Minister said it is a good initiative and there is a need to get maximum benefit of it. He said China and Pakistan enjoy exemplary relationships and Chinese Foreign Minister is expected to visit Pakistan on 9th of the next month.

The Foreign Minister also emphasized on exploring markets of the European Union and African countries to enhance trade and investment for Pakistan.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi urged media to play its effective role in image and narrative building of the country. He said the media should highlight foreign policy issues in the best interest of Pakistan.

Regarding austerity drive of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said the Foreign Minister will not stay in five star hotels during his visits abroad and will prefer to stay in Pakistani missions.

He also announced not to travel by first class and to curtail large entourage. He said it has been decided that no minister or secretary will undertake any foreign trip without permission of the Prime Minister.