ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, which met with Chairman Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, Wednesday, commended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on making efforts to achieve GSP Plus status from the European Union. The Committee was of the view that this achievement would help improving country's economy.
Although the Committee showed its dissatisfaction on the briefing given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and said that in the forthcoming meetings of the Standing Committee, they would like to have a more meaningful and focused briefings on different issues, especially Pakistan's relations with US and neighbouring countries. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of State for Commerce, was also present in the meeting to give answers to the questions of the members and said that the Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz was unable to attend the meeting because of his last minute engagement with the Prime Minister. Earlier, while giving briefing on the working and performance of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs apprised the Committee Members about the United States increased focus on Asia-Pacific; especially the Strategic partnership between US and India. Furthermore, China is increasing political and economical influence and the continuing instability in Afghanistan and its repercussions on Pakistan.
The Committee was told that Pakistan wants to have friendly relations with all its neighbouring countries and in this context the Prime Minister has visited China and Afghanistan lately. The prime Minister has emphasized on trade not the aid. Pakistan would like to have relationships based on mutual respect and benefit.
On relations with India, a three tracks policy has been initiated by Pakistani Government which includes the resumption of composite dialogue, confidence building measures adopted by Pakistan, and back channel diplomacy pursued by Pakistan. Although, it was mentioned that the Indian Government's response has not been very positive. It was also told that the UN General Assembly is going to adopt a resolution against the Drone strikes in Pakistan, which is also an achievement of the Ministry and the Government of Pakistan. The Committee vowed to discuss US-Afghanistan relations vis-à-vis Pakistan in the next meeting of the Standing Committee. The meeting was also attended by MNAs Danial Aziz, Sahibzada Muhammad Nazeer Sultan, Mian Najeebuddin Awaisi, Muhammad Khan Daha, Marvi Memon, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Amir Haider Khan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, Dr. Shireen Mehrun Nisa Mazari, Naeema Kishwar Khan and Senior Officers/ Officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.