LAHORE Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said any cut in aid could be an opportunity for Pakistan to stand on her own feet. Addressing a sitting at Tech Club on Friday, he said though the US had great importance and it was in the interest of Pakistan to have good relations with the superpower but no compromise should be made on self respect of the nation. The speakers discussed 'Pakistans internal and external challenges. Shah Mahmood Qureshi said it was a pity the US was giving threats to get Raymond Davis released instead of consoling the nation after the American killed citizens on a busy road in broad daylight. The US should try to understand the reasons behind anti-America sentiments among the Pakistanis despite giving huge amount in aid and extending helping hand during devastating earthquake and floods. We threw Russia out of Afghanistan but the US left us alone without resolving problems in the region. Instead of soothing the nation, the US was giving threats to get Davis released which was causing resentment among citizens. Now the US men are talking about stopping aid to pressurise Pakistan, Qureshi said, adding the country should not bow before pressure as any cut in aid could prove blessing in disguise for the country. To a question about present foreign policy and which aspect should be focused in future, he said Pakistan should give priority to good and durable relations with its neighbours without compromising on core issues. Pakistan has good ties with China but still there is a need to expand economic relations. Pak-Iran gas pipeline project is good for both the countries. Now we also have better understanding with Afghanistan. India has agreed to composite dialogue and effort should be made to improve relations without ignoring core issues, he said, adding good relations with the US were also important but these should be long term and based on mutual respect. Referring to the internal and external challenges, he said Pakistan could not afford any mistake, as short and long term planning was required to rescue the country from the prevailing crises. Pakistan is not a poor country if human and material resources are used properly. Honest and capable workers are in every party and it is up to the public to take right decision for the sake of country. People should hold their representatives accountable in next elections. I ask my voters to look into my past deeds before exercising their right. They should not vote me if I have done injustice, Qureshi said, adding accountability of representatives in elections would give a good leadership that could steer the country out of crises. The country is facing serious economic crisis. All microeconomic indicators are pointing towards wrong direction. Inflation is in double digits while poverty and unemployment has made the life of people miserable. Debt servicing has become a big challenge and we are forced to look towards IMF for economic bailout. Youths studying abroad are looking for job opportunities in other countries instead of returning to Pakistan, he said. Besides fragile economy, food security, energy crisis, deteriorating law and order situation and political confrontation were major challenges, he said. Former foreign minister said the country has huge coal reserves in Sindh, two important wind corridors and numerous suitable places at rivers for cheap electricity generation. He said proper utilisation of sunshine could also help overcome energy crisis and it was up to the leadership to take long term decisions. He said progressive farming could not only ensure food security but could also help earning foreign exchange by exporting rice, wheat and other agri products.