Newly-appointed Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Monday that there is a need to alter the 'direction' of Pakistan's foreign policy .

Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Foreign Office shortly after the swearing-in ceremony of federal cabinet today, he said, "We need to change the direction of our foreign policy ."  

Foreign Minister Qureshi said, "We want peace and stability in the region." 

He asserted, "Our foreign policy will begin and end at Pakistan," adding, they are determined to resolve the challenges faced by the country.

He added, "We will make sure that Pakistan is respected worldwide and for that we will have to set our priorities and move forward."

Moreover, he focused on warm relations with neighbouring countries, the foreign minister stressed, "There is a need for continued and uninterrupted dialogue with India."

He also directly addressed his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, and said, "We are neighbours. We have long-standing issues, both of us know these problems. But we have no other option but to engage in dialogue. We cannot afford adventurism."

He further added, "These issues are complicated and we may face hurdles in resolving them, but we must engage. We will have to admit that we are facing problems, we must admit that Kashmir is a reality. The Islamabad declaration is a part of our history." 

"India and Pakistan have to move forward keeping realities before them," he asserted, adding that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to PM Imran Khan in which he indicated the beginning of talks between the two countries.

Qureshi also said he intends to contact his Afghan counterpart and pay a visit to Kabul. "I want to go with a solid message for the people of Afghanistan. The two countries share a future and geography, and we have to work together and begin our long journey."

Further, the foreign minister said his party "supports the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)".

He maintained, "CPEC is a long-term project, a game changer and our party supports it."

While talking about the US, Qureshi said, "I have worked with the US in the past and I have worked with Richard Holbrooke, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice."

He continued, "I know about their concerns and their priorities. I will speak to them in a straight forward manner, I will tell them that we too have our priorities, our nation has some aspirations. I will tell them that bilateral relations will operate on the basis of equality."

"We know that there will be obstructions and hurdles in our way, but we are determined," said the foreign minister. 

Qureshi also said, "Some powers were taking advantage of the vacuum created by the absence of a foreign minister and were trying to push Pakistan towards isolation." 

However, Qureshi vowed to not allow Pakistan to be isolated.

Qureshi said, "I realize that very competent officers are working in the Foreign Office and I will consult them.

"I will also approach former officials and others for guidance, including former foreign ministers Hina Rabbani Khar and Khawaja Asif," he said.

Responding to a question regarding austerity measures announced by PM Imran, he said they would keep in line with the government's policies. "There will be no unnecessary expenditures on foreign missions and appointments will be made on the basis of merit."