LAHORE: Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said on Sunday that Pakistan did not want to be part of arms race, however, keeping in view the regional situation, Pakistan would continue to maintain a balance in conventional weaponry.
Talking to media after launching Shahid Javed Burki Institute of Public Policy (SJBIPP) here at Netsol building, the PM’s Advisor said that Pakistan had despite all difficulties been catering to the needs of its armed forces and would continue with this spirit in future as well.
To a question, Sartaj Aziz said, it was India that had suspended the two-country dialogue and now it wanted to initiate the dialogue process again, as the Indian Prime Minister telephoned his Pakistani counterpart in this regard.
In this connection, he added, the foreign secretaries of both the countries would soon restart meetings to restore the dialogue from the point it was suspended. “Of course, Pakistan and India will discuss at length all the mutual issues,” he said, asserting that an instant benefit of the two-way talks would be mitigation of prevailing tension on the Working Boundary.
To another question, the PM Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs said, Pakistan’s stance on the core issue of Kashmir was very much clear and a logical conclusion of Pak-India dialogue was impossible sans Kashmir.
Sartaj Aziz said that security was an important component of foreign policy, and the security and economy was post and parcel, therefore, “We shell not compromise on our security and national interest”. If the two-way dialogue moved forward successfully, the meeting between Prime Ministers of both the countries was possible, he responded to a Reporter’s query.
In the backdrop of APS Peshawar incident, he said that relations between Pak- Afghan improved and both the countries worked on intelligence sharing. he also expressed the firm resolve that they would not let their respective territory to be used for terrorism against each other.
To a query, Sartaj Aziz said that effective reforms were being introduces in religious seminaries, FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Area) and educational institutions, and these steps would help end extremism.
The initiatives taken under the National Action Plan (NAP) were now bearing positive results, which would definitely help substantially in resolving the grave problems of terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and other related issues.
Earlier, addressing the SJBIPP launching ceremony, the PM’s Advisor Sartaj Aziz observed that the new institute would play an important role in policy making process of the country. He also appreciated the Netsol’s efforts for economic uplift in Pakistan, citing, the science and technology had a major role in sustainable economic growth.
Sartaj Aziz said, the unemployment was a big challenge confronting Pakistan and the government was making hectic efforts at all levels to address this problem.
The former foreign minister Khursid Mehmood Kasuri, Netsol VC Shahid Najam and SJBIPP’s head Shahid Javed Burki were also present.