The briefing was attended by the ambassadors/representatives of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan. The Foreign Minister said that the regional pivot of the democratic government of Pakistan was based on wide political consensus that the challenges and complexities that Pakistan faced could only be addressed through improving and deepening relations with all its neighbours, both immediate and distant. Consequently, Pakistan had been single-mindedly focusing on improving relations with not only its immediate neighbours but with all Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries as well as with Russia and Turkey.
Talking about Pakistan’s relations with its immediate neighbours, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan enjoyed exemplary relations with China which were based on complete trust and convergence of strategic interests. With Iran, Pakistan enjoyed strong cultural and historical relations. The government has further invested in deepening its friendship and cooperation with Iran.
Regarding India, the Foreign Minister noted that despite difficult relations in the past, Pakistan strongly believed that the only way forward was through building trust and confidence. While Pakistan remained committed to normalising its relations with India, to sustain these relations on a long-term basis, it was essential that the two countries addressed all their outstanding issues, including Kashmir, in a meaningful way.
While discussing Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister noted that peace and stability in Afghanistan was not only essential for peace and stability in Pakistan but also for the broader region. She briefed the ambassadors about the various initiatives Pakistan had taken on the request of High Peace Council to facilitate the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Talking about regional connectivity, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan fully supported CASA-1000, TAPI, IP Gas Pipeline Project and extension of APTTA to Central Asian countries. She also briefed the ambassadors about the excellent relations Pakistan has with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Russia and all the Central Asian countries.
The ambassadors acknowledged and praised the role Pakistan was playing in facilitating the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. They also commended Pakistan’s vision for the region and the efforts it had made towards normalising relations with its neighbouring countries.