ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said that political stability was vital to help a country better position itself to achieve its foreign policy objectives.
Addressing the Sixth annual convocation ceremony at the National Defence University (NDU) here, Gilani said the strength of a country was measured not in terms of its ability to impose unilateral decisions, but to create a win-win situation for all. He spoke at length on four major areas that were the focal point of his democratic government and included the foreign policy, revival of economyy, energy crisis and political stability.
Gilani said being part of a world that was highly interconnected and interdependent, the government has made a paradigm shift towards making its neighbourhood peaceful, stable and prosperous on the basis of peaceful co-existence in an upfront manner. “For us the most important capital in the world is Kabul, and the government of Kabul is the most important partner,” he said.
The prime minister told the NDU graduates, including 13 from foreign countries, that a peaceful, stable and sovereign Afghanistan was an absolute prerequisite for stability and peace in Pakistan. He said Pakistan was the first to suffer at the hand of strife in Afghanistan, and the first to benefit from peace in Afghanistan. “However, we strongly believe that the solution of Afghanistan will have to come from within Afghanistan. It will have to be led by the Afghans and owned by the Afghans.”
Referring to Pakistan’s relations with India, Gilani termed these “stable and peaceful” and added:The prime minister said that normalising trade with India has been an issue that no previous government wanted to touch. “But we decided to look at this issue from a purely national and regional perspective,” he said.
Gilani mentioned the resumption of full dialogue with India, which covered all issues including Siachen, Sir Creek, counterterrorism, water issues, and the most important of all, the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Referring to Pakistan’s ties with China, the prime minister termed it a unique relationship deeply rooted and mutually beneficial. “The intensification of high-level contacts between Pakistan and China are a manifestation of taking this relationship to new heights,” he said.
The prime minister described Pakistan-US relations as multi-dimensional and important. “We are trying to have an open, transparent and mutually beneficial relationship with the US on the basis of our national interests, and in the light of recommendations made by the Parliament.”
Minister for Defence Syed Naveed Qamar, JCSC Chairman General Khalid Wynne, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandila attended the event.