The geopolitical situation in the world is undergoing a seismic shift and Pakistan has to review it pragmatically and quickly adjust its direction, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Thursday.
Speaking after the conclusion of a three-day meeting of the Pakistani envoys here, Asif referred to the “altering” regional and international situation, saying the geopolitical changes taking place in the world were unprecedented.
“Perhaps, such changes were not even witnessed after the World War II. New allignments have been made, strategic policies are dictating nations’ interests,” he said.
“We are undergoing a seismic shift,” Asif said, adding that Pakistan has to review these situations pragmatically and take the right direction.
“We have to quickly adjust our direction,” he asserted.
During the meeting, the diplomats discussed the US policy on South Asia and Afghanistan and Pakistan’s envoy to the US, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, provided a briefing on the situation following US President Donald Trump’s statements.
Trump last month issued the sternest warning yet by an American leader to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists and sought an enhanced role for India in bringing peace in the war-ravaged country.
Asif 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.
Asif said that in the coming days “there will be a policy shift in the country.”
The new policy will be formulated with the army and the country’s institutions and will keep Pakistan’s interests in view.
Asif said that recommendations in this regard will be made to the National Assembly based on the advice given by the envoys during the meetings.
The powerful army, which enjoys considerable influence over policy decisions in Pakistan, has ruled Pakistan for much of its life since it gained independence 70 years ago.
To a question, Asif said that Pakistan’s relations with India were discussed in the conference in the context of the situation in Kashmir, but did not provide the details.
He said Russia had a vital role to play in the region and Pakistan was improving its relations with regional countries.
Asif said, “there is a difference – a distance – between the world’s perception and Pakistan’s perception [of the war,” apparently referring to the US remark a day earlier that Pakistan “must change its approach” to terrorism.
He said said Pakistan will not accept being scapegoated for the sake of failures of others in the region.
His remarks came days after the BRICS nations in their Xiamen declaration expressed “concern” over the violence caused by the Taliban, ISIS, al-Qaeda and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizb ut-Tahrir.
“The groups named are already banned in Pakistan,” Asif said during the presser.
Asif said Pakistan was the only country in the world which has achieved resounding successes in the war against terrorism. “No one can fight this war better than us. We are the only country in the world which is winning the war on terror, and we will continue winning it,” he added.
He said that Pakistan’s dependency on US has been greatly reduced. He, however, said Pakistan’s relationship with the US has not ended and future communications will be made keeping in view Pakistan’s interests.
“Pakistan will cooperate with countries who recognise its sacrifices,” the minister said.