Pakistan foreign policy must respond to shifting trends: Qureshi

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednes-day said that Pakistan’s foreign policy must respond adequately to the shifting trends and must navigate through this external environment to ensure the security of Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integ-rity and independence, and advancement of devel-opment agenda.

The foreign minister, addressing the passing out ceremony of Foreign Service Probationers, said for the first time, Pakistan had re-oriented the thrust of its diplomatic efforts towards economic benefit and prosperity of the masses.

“Economic Diplomacy is not just a buzzword, but a blueprint to leverage our diplomatic assets in the service of our development agenda. We have put in place a “Strategic Engagement Plan” with the Euro-pean Union and the “Strategic Economic Frame-work” with Turkey,” he remarked.

He said in order to explore untapped markets and opportunities, the government had launched the “Engage Africa” Initiative.

Going forward, our pivot towards Economic Diplo-macy will gather further momentum as new avenues are opened, and existing ones gain greater traction, he added.

Congratulating the probationers passing out of the 41st Specialized Diplomatic Course, the foreign minister said they had a brief taste of the work re-lated to the recent OIC CFM in Islamabad and did an admirable job.

The foreign minister advised the probationers to strive to serve Pakistan and its people to the best of their ability as their primary focus throughout their careers.

Qureshi said the consular services being provided by the Foreign Office here and abroad through Mis-sions were a critical function. The Government of Pakistan is committed to giving due esteem to over-seas Pakistanis and serving them wholeheartedly, he added.

Secondly, he urged them to work hard and be eager to learn, and not restrict themselves to the files on their desk rather keep them updated even if they were assigned a non-political desk.

“Always keep your chin up and do not lose motiva-tion. Be innovative and think outside the box amidst resource constraints. Be mindful of the opportunities and challen.ges presented by the digital age. Being tech-savvy is no longer optimal,” he said.

The foreign minister asked the participants to be conscious of the importance of their work and re-sponsibilities. “You will be part of the first line of Pakistan’s defence. You will have to match wits with better-resourced adversaries. You must rise to the challenge,” he remarked.

 

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