Pakistan’s foreign policy must respond to changing global trends: FM

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said yes­terday that Pakistan needed to shift foreign policy to changing global trends.

Addressing the passing out ceremony of Foreign Service Probationers, he said for the first time, Pakistan had re-ori­ented the thrust of its dip­lomatic efforts towards eco­nomic benefit and prosperity of the masses. “Pakistan’s for­eign policy must respond ad­equately to the shifting trends and must navigate through this external environment to ensure the security of Paki­stan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, and advancement of develop­ment agenda,” he said.

Economic Diplomacy, he added, was not just a “buzz­word, but a blueprint to lever­age our diplomatic assets in the service of our develop­ment agenda. We have put in place a ‘Strategic Engagement Plan’ with the European Union and the ‘Strategic Economic Framework’ with Turkey.”

He said in order to explore untapped markets and oppor­tunities; the government had launched the ‘Engage Africa’ Initiative. Going forward, our pivot towards Economic Diplo­macy will gather further mo­mentum as new avenues are opened, and existing ones gain greater traction, he added.

Congratulating the proba­tioners passing out of the 41st Specialised Diplomatic Course, the foreign minister said they had had a brief taste of the work related to the recent Or­ganisation of Islamic Coopera­tion Council of Foreign Minis­ters in Islamabad and did an admirable job.

The FM advised the proba­tioners to strive to serve Pa­kistan and its people to the best of their ability as their primary focus throughout their careers.

Qureshi said the consular services being provided by the Foreign Office here and abroad through missions were a crit­ical function. The government of Pakistan is committed to giving due esteem to overseas Pakistanis and serving them wholeheartedly, he added.

The FM asked the partici­pants to be conscious of the importance of their work and responsibilities. “You will be part of the first line of Paki­stan’s defence. You will have to match wits with better-re­sourced adversaries. You must rise to the challenge,” he remarked.

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