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Pakistan not to accept hegemony of any state: Sartaj

05 March, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday said that Pakistan follows a clear policy of 'no interference' and 'no favourites' and is not interfering in the affairs of other countries but it will not accept hegemony of any other country.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Sartaj Aziz said the government was preparing defence and foreign policies, which would be presented before the House within the next few weeks. He said that the government was bringing a four-point national foreign policy.

"Internal security and policy of non-interference, economic development through trade and not aid, fully benefiting from geographical location and promoting Pakistan's image by strengthening democracy and economic institutions will be basic components of our policies," he said, adding that the opinion of the House would also be sought while finalising these policies.

He said the government would assure that it creates and pursues a clear, balanced and effective sovereign foreign policy in the light of the sayings Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to safeguard our national and international interests.

He said the internal and external threats were also being kept under consideration while framing the policies and he has been briefing the House and its standing committees on these issues.

Sartaj Aziz particularly mentioned relations with Iran saying the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be visiting Iran on invitation of Iranian President."Iran is our nearest Muslim country and the government is engaged with them to resolve bilateral issues," he said. He told the House that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline was government's priority but the project could not be completed before three years.

He said the issue of gas pipeline with Iran was an issue of sanctions but it could not have affected the project if Iran and Pakistan had sufficient resources. "Sanctions are a major problem - when we have to seek financial assistance internationally then the sanctions are a problem.

He maintained that Pakistan would not provide arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Syria.On relations with India, he said the path was being paved for resumption of composite dialogue through working groups and back channel diplomacy.At the same time, he said, the government was not giving one-sided relaxations to India in trade and would fully safeguard the country's interests.

He said Pak-Afghan relations are on way to normalcy after the government had made them believe in Pakistan's policy of non-interference. "Bringing in a favourite regime in Afghanistan is no more our policy. We have conveyed it to them and the previous atmosphere of no trust is now improving towards strong bilateral relations."

About United States, he stated, Pakistan has made US believe that its previous policy had not favoured Pakistan. "We have told them that Pakistan should not be seen through the Afghan lens," he said.

He pointed out that the United States had so far ignored Pakistan's internal security challenges. "The internal security will also be a component of strategic partnership with the United States," Sartaj Aziz said.

Pakistan is also seeking investment in different sectors including the energy sector and investment of 30 to 32 billion dollars in Pakistan will bring about positive changes.He further told the House that the government was also keeping an eye on changing scenarios and new emerging alliances.

He said regional cooperation is another important component of our policy as menaces like terrorism cannot be overcome without adopting a regional approach because it is not a war between armies of any two countries.He said that Pakistan would fully benefit from its regional importance by extending links to Central Asian states and improving internal security.

End.

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