Pakistan Island of stability amidst unstable region: Khurram

Minister for Defence Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan Thursday said Pakistan, under an elected government, had solved its most vexing issues and become an island of stability in the region. “Pakistan today has become an island of stability amidst an unstable region. This should give us confidence that Pakistan is on its way to assume its rightful role in the region and in the world at large as a prosperous and peaceful nation,” he said while addressing a seminar here.
The seminar titled “Contemporary Relations between Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia: Present Challenges” was organized by the Strategic Vision Institute.
The minister said Pakistan had come a long way from the dark period of terrorism and energy-shortage that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government inherited in 2013.
After the PML-N government assumed office in 2013, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif began a process of regional recalibration of Pakistan’s foreign and security policies, with a view to give geo-economics a weight equal to geo-security.
Nawaz Sharif espoused a vision of mutual prosperity through regional connectivity, and began a process of building up Pakistan’s relations with its immediate neighbors as well as with Central Asia.
“Pakistan’s relations with the Middle East, however, have evolved as war and strife raged across Syria, parts of Iraq, and Yemen, in addition to tensions of major GCC countries with Iran as well as tensions within the Gulf Cooperation Council,” he said.
Pakistan remains wary of being drawn into power struggles along sectarian lines as they are currently taking place in the Middle East, he said adding that Pakistan’s Middle East policy in recent years had been a balancing act between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The minister said Pakistan maintained an ideological affinity, deep military and economic relationship as well as strong leadership ties with the Kingdom, besides building economic cooperation and counterterrorism links with Iran. “Pakistan Armed Forces personnel have been deputed to the Kingdom for many decades on training and advisory role – under longstanding bilateral agreements and protocols. After the evolution of the Saudi-led Islamic Military effort from an alliance into a counter-terrorism coalition, Pakistan has offered cooperation in counter-terrorism training and communications,” he said.—APP

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