ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday claimed in the National Assembly that a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States (US) is ‘lobbying against his own country’ and ‘creating hurdles for the government’. Utv Pakistan Report
“A former Pakistani ambassador is working against his own country in the US,” Aziz said, adding that Pakistan’s diplomatic mission in the US is facing challenges due to the former ambassador’s campaign.
“This person is trying to tackle all our diplomatic efforts in boosting the bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States,” Aziz said.
Without revealing the identity of the person, the adviser said, “The Foreign Office has serious reservation on the activities of the said person in the US.”
‘Making successful efforts for non-entry of India to NSG’
Aziz also said that Pakistan is ‘making successful efforts’ against India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group membership.
The adviser’s remarks come just days after Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said India is “not opposed” to Pakistan’s entry to the NSG.
Winding up a discussion on demands for grants, the adviser rejected the impression that Pakistan is being isolated and said Pakistan has to prioritise foreign policy on the basis of new alignments taking place in the world.
Aziz said Pakistan is pursuing a balanced policy based on non-interference and protection of national interests and nuclear assets.
Aziz said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, CASA-1000, and the Tapi and Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline projects are concrete achievements that will help increase regional connectivity.
He also claimed that Pakistan’s political role would be enhanced through membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
He highlighted Pakistan’s ‘historic and religious’ relations with Muslim countries, saying that ties with Iran are “moving in the right direction”, and that after the lifting of sanctions against the Republic, Pak-Iran relations will be strengthened.
Pakistan is pursuing a ‘no-favourite’ policy regarding Afghanistan and making efforts to establish peace in the country by means of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group. Work is in progress with respect to border management along the Pak-Afghan border, Aziz said.
Opposition members, however, criticised the government’s foreign policy, saying that Pakistan is becoming isolated and stressed the need for good relations with neighbouring countries.
The opposition demanded that foreign policy should be reviewed keeping in mind shifts taking place in the region.
They pointed out that economy should be strengthened to support an independent foreign policy and termed the efforts of the Foreign Office with regards to gaining NSG membership insufficient.
Those who took part in the discussion included Shaikh Rashid Ahmad, Syed Naveed Qamar, Dr Shireen Mazari, Shaikh Salahuddin, Ayesha Syed, Jamshed Dasti, Mussarat Rafique Mahesar, Imran Khattak, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Shazia Marri.