Foreign policy: Asif hints at inclining towards China, Russia instead of US

09:35 AM | 6 Dec, 2017
Foreign policy: Asif hints at inclining towards China, Russia instead of US
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ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said Pakistan was revisiting its foreign policy according to the prevailing international scenario, besides hinting at a major shift in the policy.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad, the foreign minister said that Pakistan had been following a US-centric policy for a long time, adding that it was the need of the hour to bring a change in it and shift it towards Russian and China.

Refuting the impression that Pakistan is suffering from isolation diplomatically, Asif said that bilateral ties with Russia had strengthened during the past years. He added that Pak-China relations had taken a new dimension.

He highlighted that a country could not drive an independent foreign policy without achieving economic strength.

Stressing on the need to develop correct ties, Ais said "We have to convert our diplomatic outpost to trade outpost," adding that the US has been one of the major trade partners of Pakistan, Dawn News reported.

Talking about the Afghan issue, the foreign minister said that Pakistan wanted rule of peace in Afghanistan as “We are still suffering very badly from the Afghan war”. He urged the US to build relation with Pakistan sans Afghan prism.

Refusing the concerns of neighbouring countries, he said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a game changer project, which will benefit the entire region.

“We also maintained neutrality in the regional conflicts,” Asif said while referring to Pakistan’s relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia.

We will also have to put our house in order, he said while referring to the Faizabad interchange sit-in. "It was not a good example," Asif accepted.