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Pakistan’s foreign policy must respond to shifting global trends: Qureshi

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan’s foreign policy must respond to shifting global trends with a view to promote its national interests and to prevent any harm to them.

The FM made the remarks in his address to the National Defence University in Islamabad on Tuesday.

“The relative predictability of the unipolar world has given way to rivalries that are more complex and potentially more dangerous. Multilateral mechanisms are not living up to their promise of mediation and conflict resolution,” he said.

“The UN system, never ideal to begin but immensely important for developing countries like Pakistan, is continually undermined by the very powers that crafted it. Groupings like G-7 and G-20 seldom offer global solutions. The weaknesses of global institutions have further been exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“There is a tendency to lean towards smaller groupings to forge fluid, issue specific partnerships to expedite cooperation. The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the shortcomings of the public health systems. It has also brought out the vulnerability of the global economic system and could be the harbinger of geo-political and geo-economic re-alignments.”

“In this backdrop, the power shift towards Asia seems to be accelerating. But the west is not idle and there are efforts to counter China and circumscribe its influence. Islamophobia is on the rise. The debt burden of developing countries, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic is staring us in the face. Shutting down of economies and closure of borders has led to stricter migration polices around the world.”

He said that countries like Pakistan hosting large number of refugees, face health and economic pressures.

“It is feared that this pandemic will permanently roll back globalization and compel countries to restrict the flow of people. Pakistan’s foreign policy must respond adequately to these shifting trends. Keeping our interests supreme, we must navigate through this external environment to ensure that Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence are secured and its development agenda is advanced.”

When Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office, we committed ourselves to a foreign policy centered around Pakistan’s priorities and needs as well as conflict resolution and to avoid being embroiled into conflicts of others.

“We have tried to reinvigorate existing partnerships and establish new ones on the premise of mutuality of interest, transparency and respect for sovereignty. We have made economic diplomacy a core plank of this renewed outreach.”

 

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