No relations with America at the cost of national interest: Foreign Minister

No relations with America at the cost of national interest: Foreign Minister

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has unveiled Pakistan foreign policy vis a vis America.

He said Pakistan wanted to improve relations with the United States but not at the expense of its national interests.

Speaking at the floor of the Senate, the minister said weightage will be given to the opinion of the people as well as the elected representatives while taking forward relations with Washington. He said national security and the foreign policy were interlinked and “we should demonstrate unison on them.” “Political differences should be kept aside on national security and foreign policy matters. Given the challenges facing the country, only unity can strengthen our voice,” he maintained.

Responding to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani’s request for reply on telephonic conservation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Qureshi reiterated, “US State Department readout regarding the phone call was contrary to facts. The conversation between PM Imran and Pompeo was cordial and constructive in nature.” The press release issued by Pakistan on the conversation is based on facts, he upheld, and also shared that Pompeo is expected to visit Pakistan on September 5.

Speaking in the Upper House, Finance Minister Asad Umer cleared the air regarding seeking a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The government does not intend to approach IMF for now,” he announced, adding the statement of US administration pertaining to bailout package was unnecessary. “Even if Pakistan goes to the IMF, this won’t be the first time that Pakistan has opted for the program. We have gone to the program 12 times previously,” he said.

Asad Umer acknowledged that country’s economic situation was on ‘life support’. “We will put the situation in front of public and consult the parliament before making any decision,” he maintained.