MULTAN  -  Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the demonstrations being shown on TV screens are developing negative image of Pakistan in the world and this image is in clash with the spirit of Islam.

Talking to the media here on Thursday, he said: “We need to rectify our international image and for the sake of this purpose we need to bring seminaries into mainstream.” He added: “The world has asked us to change our narrative if we want to win war against terror.” He said that a serious divide was seen in Pakistani society. “Being an international advocate of Pakistan, I want to tell you that our image being portrayed internationally is not serving us anymore and being lawyer my arguments are getting weaker. International community asks us to correct our narrative to win war against terror.”

Referring to issues with India, he said that the solution to all Indo-Pak issues lied in dialogue and only talks could help restore peace. “We don’t have any other option than talks with India, but India is not ready to talk,” he asserted. He pointed out that the election process had begun in India and therefore there were no expectations of any development. “But the new government coming in 2019 may hold talks,” he hoped. He said that Pakistan’s interest was on top of all things and the government was making such a foreign policy which would secure country’s interests. He declared that talks with all countries would be held on the basis of equality.

He said that his China visit remained very successful, adding that the friendship between Pakistan and China was immortal. He said that former governments preferred Orange Train over CPEC. He said that the meetings with Chinese top leadership were highly fruitful as talks on next phase of CPEC were also held. “We’ve shared our priorities on CPEC with China. We’ve to evaluate what steps we can take on education, health and employment,” he added. He said that China would extend economic support to Pakistan besides help to boost exports. He hoped that after visits to Saudi Arabia and China, the economic condition of the country would improve.

To a query on Aasia Masih, he claimed that she had not gone abroad according to his information. “However, it is interior ministry that can give exact information on this issue,” he added. He said, “Although intense internal and external pressure was on the government on this issue, we had to keep forth legal requirements.”

He said that Maulana Samiul Haq’s murder was regrettable. “The facts should come forth. I hope that our police and institutions will soon unveil his murderers,” he added.

He disclosed that efforts for the release of Dr Aafiya Siddiqui were underway. “There will be a meeting with Dr Aafiya’s sister next week,” he revealed.

He said that creation of South Punjab province was part of PTI’s manifesto, and separate committees had been constituted at centre and provincial levels. He said that PTI was making efforts to create consensus on the issue among all political parties and hopefully it would be created in PTI’s tenure.

He said that the PTI did not have two-third majority, and it would request other parties to support this cause. He said that PTI was working on its 100-day agenda, and it had been set to keep the direction of the government straight. He said that the prime minister personally monitored the performance of all ministries, and people would feel change after 100 days.