–Foreign minister says no reason for Pakistan to be a part of Yemen conflict, no strings attached to Saudi bailout
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that the government made progress on a four-point agenda which was presented during a visit to China, adding that positive results emerged out of the Pak-China bilateral meetings.
Address the Upper House on motions moved by Leader of the Opposition Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, the foreign minister said PM Imran Khan’s visit to China remained very successful.
The foreign minister said that the current financial and overall situation of the country demands us all to look into our deeds and ponder what led to the prevailing circumstances.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China has helped convert bilateral strategic relations into the economic partnership,” he stated.
He said the nation is united on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the government will complete all ongoing projects under this project. He said the delegates from 130 countries attended the Shanghai Expo and the prime minister was one of the seven prominent world leaders invited for the keynote address on this occasion.
The foreign minister told Senate that Pakistan Pavilion was one of the eight pavilions which were visited by the world leaders. He said that 15 agreements and MoUs have been signed between Pakistan and China regarding human development, education, health, skill development, poverty alleviation, agriculture and industrial development.
Qureshi said that there will be multilateral meetings of Pakistan with China and Afghanistan in December on various regional issues.
‘NO REASON TO BE PART OF YEMEN CONFLICT’:
FM Qureshi said that it was being questioned what were the conditions settled with Saudi Arabia in return of its cooperation.
“No conditions have been settled with Saudi Arabia and the financial assistance will be totally unconditional,” he assured.
He said that there were some misunderstandings about the relations with Saudi Arabia and that they tried to dismiss any such misconceptions
“There is no reason for us to be a part of contention with Yemen,” he said, adding that no such thing has happened which can potentially hurt Pakistan.
FM Qureshi said that in past, the relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were not cordial enough and the recent meetings were an effort to improve relations.
“Saudi Arabia helped us a great deal by giving unconditional support,” he said.
He said that there is a proxy war going on and whatever is going on in Yemen and Syria can be seen.
“What should be Pakistan’s role in this war?” he asked, adding that at one side Pakistan has relations with Saudi Arabia while at the other Iran is a neighbouring country.
“Due to the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, Pakistan is always under scrutiny,” said the minister.
FM Qureshi said that on the issue of foreign policy, there should be a national consensus based on what the parliament decides.
“PM Imran Khan has said that he wants to play the role of mediator in Yemen issue… Nawaz Sharif had also tried mediation but he achieved no success in the matter,” recalled Qureshi.
The foreign minister told Senate that the Iranian foreign minister had said that if PM Imran Khan is ready to be a mediator then Iran is fine with the decision
He said the stance that the parliament took on Yemen issue was correct, asserting that impartiality can make Pakistan’s role important with regard to Saudi Arabia and Iran.