ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the current situation in the world and the region, Pakistan will have to swiftly “change its direction”.
These views were expressed by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday after the conclusion of the Pakistani envoys’ conference.
Envoys to some major countries, including United Nations, United States, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, and multilateral institutions participated in the three-day conference which deliberated on changes unfolding in the geopolitical environment.
Asif, while referring to the “altering” regional and international situation, said that “We are undergoing a seismic shift.”
The geopolitical changes taking place in the world were unprecedented, he added. “Perhaps, such changes were not even witnessed after the Second World War. New allignments have been made, strategic policies are dictating nations’ interests.”
The foreign minister said that “We [Pakistan] have to review these situations pragmatically and take the right direction. We have to quickly adjust our direction.”
The US policy on South Asia and Afghanistan was discussed during the final session of the envoys conference and Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, provided a briefing on the situation following US President Donald Trump’s statements.
“The three-day conference that we had, we discussed Pak-US relations, the United Nations and also India,” shared Asif.
“After the briefing, we have come to understand the different dimensions of the problem.”
The minister said that there is a 50 to 60-year-long history behind the Washington policy and the regional situation “which is gradually unfolding”.
“In my personal view, [in the course of this history], we have only incurred losses and haven’t gained much,” he said.
“We don’t have a lot of time — the developing regional situations do not allow us to take our time,” the minister reiterated, stressing on the urgency of the matter.
While referring to Pakistan’s war against terror, he said, “There is a difference ─ a distance ─ between the world’s perception and Pakistan’s perception [of the war].”
A day earlier, the United States had said that Pakistan must change “its approach” towards terrorist groups operating from its soil and take decisive action against them.
The US State Department had praised the BRICS forum, which, in its recently held meeting of the alliance’s leaders, termed militant groups allegedly based in Pakistan a regional security concern and called for their patrons to be held accountable.
The groups mentioned in the BRICS statement included the Afghan Taliban, militant Islamic State group, Al Qaeda and its affiliates, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Teh¬reek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizbut Tahrir.
Some of them are based in Afghanistan and use their bases for launching attacks into Pakistan. On Dec 16, 2014, one of them — TTP — raided a school in Peshawar and killed 141 people, including 132 children.