ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday said Pakistan has never compromised on its core interests and always responded to the emerging changes in the international environment in line with its national interests.
The foreign advisor made the statement as the Senate winded up discussion on a motion moved by thirty senators regarding implication of the statement of the Chairman U.S. Armed Services Committee Senator John McCain in Kabul soon after his visit to Pakistan.
Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan’s foreign policy is fully cognizant of emergent realities. He said alliances shift and transform while interests remain permanent. He said countries adopt their foreign policies according to the emerging environment, and no single country has the capability to shape according to its wishes and priorities.
He said Pakistan faced a decade of sanctions but met the pressure without compromising its core interests. He said when the time came Pakistan responded to Indian nuclear tests, despite global pressure, and despite these differences maintained positive relations with USA.
Mr. Aziz said Pakistan will continue to build and strengthen relations with US and strive to resolve areas of divergences. He said Pakistan has achieved considerable success in the past few years in controlling terrorism after taking the decisive action, and cleared thousands of square kilometers in the tribal region and embarked on a road to economic recovery.
Sartaj Aziz said policies are aimed at the unity of the Muslim Ummah and have welcomed all efforts in promoting mediation and reconciliation in different Middle East disputes.
He said the Saudi initiative to set up the Islamic Military Alliance is to fight terrorism and extremism. He said Pakistan’s experience in counter-terrorism and close ties with Saudi Arabia makes it natural to join the coalition and contribute to reduce the scourge of extremism and terrorism.
Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan’s relations with Iran are stable and positive, and economic cooperation is on the increase and both countries have agreed to link Chahbahar and Gwadar as sister ports.
He said Pakistan has achieved a number of successes in the past including start of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, holding successful ECO summit in Islamabad, membership of SCO, GSP plus agreement with EU and relations with a number of the world countries. He said these achievements fully negate the perception that Pakistan is facing isolation.
NAB to be convert into National Accountability Commission
Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said a draft bill has been completed which will convert the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) into the National Accountability Commission (NAC).
The law minister was discussing a motion regarding the need for a new accountability mechanism to ensure across the board accountability, which has been made in consultation with all the political parties.
Electronic Crime Act not misused, open to amendments
Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman said the Electronic Crime Act has been passed by both the Houses of the Parliament, and amendments can be made in the act when required.
The minister was discussing a motion that the law was being misused and was threat to freedom of expression and the crimes are continuously being committed against journalists and media persons.
Minister of State for Interior Baligh-ur-Rehman said that under the act 4030 complaints were received during 2017 and out of these 559 were held and 102 FIRs were registered. He said that this act is not being misused rather it is used to trace elements who are working against the interest of the State.
The senate members said that Electronic Crime Act should be used against those elements who are working against the interests of the country. They said there is dire need to educate people about the use of internet and social media.