On Sunday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged President Joe Biden’s new US administration to recognise that the world, Pakistan and, especially, India have changed a lot in the last four years, so any interaction and relationships should be built on the basis of new realities on the ground.
Addressing a press conference in Multan, Qureshi said the current US administration had a “short message” “In [these] four years [since the previous Democrat administration] the world has changed, the region has changed and Pakistan has changed and you have to engage with this new Pakistan,” said Qureshi, adding, “India has changed. Is it the same shining and secular India today? No.”
He pointed out that voices from inside India have grown and confirmed that it is not a liberal India, it is “a new face of Hindutva, a new practical demonstration of the thinking of the RSS. Minorities in India are finding themselves to be insecure.”
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Based on this new fact, the foreign minister said that the PTI government hoped to communicate with the new US administration on the basis of a “new approach and new guidelines”
“I understand that there is a lot of similarity between the current thinking of the United States and our policies,” Qureshi said. He further mentioned that he had written a letter to the new US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, briefed him on the course of the current policies of Pakistan, and looked forward to having more discussions with him on the topic in the coming days.
The foreign minister said, “We have made a very big shift, from a geo-strategic position to a geo-economic position,”
‘You have constitutionally accepted Imran Khan as the prime minister’
Qureshi also presented the proposal of a no-confidence vote against the current government by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) of the opposition. During a press conference in Larkana on Friday, the PPP chairman pointed at such a course of action.
The proposal was welcomed by Qureshi, calling it a’ constitutional measure.’ He added that the PTI government and its allies are assured that they are “in a position to confront and defeat it in a constitutional and parliamentary manner.”
Now it’s obvious from this, Bilawal, when you say you’re going to bring a motion of no-confidence, it means you’ve acknowledged Imran Khan as [your] prime minister by law,’ said the foreign minister, adding that Imran Khan was the prime minister, which is why Bilawal decided to bring a motion of no-confidence against him.
He told the PPP chairman to “stop saying that he [Imran Khan] is [a] elected prime minister, he is [an] elected prime minister, and [the] people of Pakistan have elected him” in the light of the above situation.
He told the PPP chairman to “stop saying that he [Imran Khan] is [a] selected prime minister, he is [an] elected prime minister and [the] people of Pakistan have elected him.” in the light of the above situation.
He said his stance that the PDM was a “unnatural” coalition was vindicated by the no-confidence motion as they first decided to a single position, but ultimately disagreed, referring to the shifting positions of the PDM on the topic of resignations and the long march to Islamabad.
They’re going to disperse, as you see it has [already] begun.
Will never hurt interests of an allied state
The Foreign Minister explained, “We haven’t signed any agreement that hurts the interests of an allied state.” in response to a query from a reporter about the concerns of some Allied Arab States over recent decisions taken by Pakistan.
“We have never done, and will never do such an agreement which causes damage to any brother Muslim state.”
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In this regard, Qureshi pointed out Pakistan’s alliance with Azerbaijan. He noted that Turkey and Pakistan had publicly endorsed and congratulated Azerbaijan on its “big success” in restoring its territories under occupation. As a result of that assistance, Qureshi said that the flags of Turkey and Pakistan were waved in the streets by the people of Azerbaijan after Azerbaijan’s victory. “We hadn’t handed them [flags], this was the people’s emotions, acceptance and tribute to Pakistan.”
He also discussed the latest United Nations ban on travelling onboard any Pakistani airline for its workers and said it was a “temporary measure, not a permanent one” and the issue would be resolved soon. “We are sad and we are pained that these inadequacies were present in our system […] and because of that our airlines and genuine pilots faced difficulties.”