ISLAMABAD - Outgoing Foreign Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan yesterday said its relationship with the United States was not at the lowest ebb.

Speaking at a news briefing with Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal here, Dastgir said Pakistan and the US ties were still not out of control.

“Pak-US ties are not at the lowest ebb. Pakistan has been actively engaged with the US to reconcile the differences and free the relationship from misgivings,” he said, as he highlighted the country’s five-year foreign policy during the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) rule.  Dastgir regretted that the US side was trying to put the onus of its failure in Afghanistan on Pakistan.

He said Pakistan stood firmly with the Kashmiris in their “just struggle for right to self-determination.” He said Pakistan had strongly highlighted the Kashmir dispute at the UN General Assembly and other fora.

He admitted there was tension in relations with India adding India could not browbeat Pakistan. He said Pakistan had fully responded to the Indian aggression on the diplomatic and military fronts.

Voicing concerns over the violation of Indus Water Treaty by India, the foreign minister said the arrest of Kulbushan Jadhav had beyond any iota of doubt exposed the Indian designs to subvert Pakistan.

Pakistan, he said, had achieved measurable success and tackled challenges through a regional recalibration of its foreign policy.

The minister said in line with this policy, Pakistan had entered into strategic partnership with China and launched the historic project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He said it attracted investment of $ 46.6 billion and had put Pakistan squarely at the centre of a blueprint for a more hopeful, prosperous and connected future for the region and the world.

He said for the first time in history, “we also reinforced our relations with Russia and signed a defence agreement with it in 2014. Similarly a concerted effort was made to strengthen relations with the central Asian nations.”

The foreign minister said Pakistan's formal accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was also a big achievement of the government. About relations with the Middle East, the foreign minister said, “Our relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran remain robust and continue to evolve.”

Dastgir said it was also success of “our economic diplomacy that Pakistan achieved the status of GSP plus in 2014. As a result of this facilitation, Pakistan's exports to the EU witnessed a surge of 38 percent.”

The foreign minister said that all the rumours of Pakistan's diplomatic isolation were false as Pakistan was continuously engaged deeply with the regional countries and the world at large.

On Afghanistan, Dastgir said the roadmap to peace there lies in the peace process and Pakistan will continue to extend its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

He said although he had the privilege of serving as foreign minister for a brief period towards the end of the government’s tenure, “my previous portfolios in commerce and defence, and discharge of parliamentary business of foreign affairs for four years, gave me ample opportunity to remain intimately linked with the issues and challenges confronting Pakistan’s foreign relations.”

Foreign policy, he said, was never made in isolation. “It is a country’s dynamic response to the ever-changing international environment,” he added.

These past five years, he said: “We have been faced with numerous challenges emanating from a difficult strategic environment, unprecedented influx in our geopolitical context, and our fight against terrorism and extremism.”

First, Khan said, under former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and later under prime minister Shahid Abbasi, “we endeavoured to forge closer and better relations with countries in our neighbourhood, and the world at large.”

He said strengthening and deepening of Pakistan’s relations with China had always been the anchor of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

“Sino-Pak friendship has no parallels in the annals of history. We have managed to elevate it to an even higher plane. Our interaction at the highest political level has remained significant. In these five years, Pakistan has welcomed President Xi Jinping, in his historic visit of April 2015, Premier Li Keqiang, and numerous high level dignitaries from China,” he said. The launch and quick progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, had been a landmark achievement, he said.