Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan would no more join any alliance for any other country’s war rather play the role of a reconciliator or bridge-builder.
Pakistan has learned lessons from its foreign policy of last four decades and we will not fight someone else’s war, he said while addressing the concluding session of the Margalla Dialogue 2019 in Islamabad on peace and development in South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia.
The two-day dialogue organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute gathered security and political experts from 13 countries to discuss regional challenges. During four sessions, experts deliberated issues including Kashmir, Afghanistan, Middle East, Pakistan’s role in geopolitical situation, cyber security, climate change and water security.
Prime Minister Imran Khan recalled that Pakistan suffered immensely being front line state during 1980’s Afghan and American war on terror following the 9/11 incident. He said that though the foreign funding flowed into Pakistan during wars, however the cost paid in shape of disaster in society was much higher.
He said that the impact on society is yet to analyze gravity of negativity that these wars inflicted upon Pakistan. For this reason, “we have now decided to play role of bridge-builders and reconciliators.” About foreign policy of two major world powers, he said that China’s focus on infrastructure development had a superior standing as compared to the US which spent trillions of dollars on wars against other countries.
Imran Khan said that Pakistan is heading towards path of progress by taking corrective measures including introducing ease-of-doing business mechanism, and promotion of tourism and sports in the country. He said Pakistan is making continuous efforts to restore peace in neighbourhood including promotion of Afghan peace process and through reconciliatory efforts between Saudi Arabia and Iran to ease the conflict.
AFGHAN PEACE: Addressing in a separate session, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said that peace in Afghanistan is vital for regional prosperity as development opportunities had been missed due to ongoing conflict there.
He said that political solution to Afghanistan issue would bring about regional progress and development. He said that Pakistan is focusing on promoting cooperation in energy sector at regional level. Pakistan is heading towards industrial development, he said, noting other countries are heavily investing in e-commerce and digital economy therefore Pakistan should also pay attention towards this sector.
He underscored that Pakistan should also invest in research and development and promote other modern sectors on the pattern of China. Talking about China-Pakistan Economic Corridors, the minister said that under CPEC framework, other countries could become partners and make investments to the mutual benefit of all. He said that the government had quickened the pace and implementation of CPEC projects and hurdles related to the projects had been largely removed.
Khusro Bakhtyar noted that there was great region’s trade potential and Pakistan could play an important role for promoting trade linkages between Central Asia and South Asia. He called for initiating joint ventures with private sector for sustained economic growth. He highlighted that a B2B forum had been formulated between investors of Pakistan and China for the mutual benefit of the two countries.