Pakistan on Thursday hinted at bringing a ‘paradigm shift’ in its foreign policy in view of the fast-changing situation on regional and international fronts, particularly after the new US strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, while speaking at a news conference, said the change was necessitated by recent developments “which are perhaps the biggest since the World War II”.
While he said Islamabad was not seeking confrontation with the US, he made it clear that relations with Washington would now be driven by Pakistan’s national interests.
The new strategy, while seeking troops surge to break the stalemate in Afghanistan, has envisaged tough measures against Pakistan to change its alleged approach towards certain militant outfits, including the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network.
The government summoned the envoys posted in key world capitals to seek their input in the aftermath of the Trump’s strategy.
However, they agreed that the time had come for Pakistan to put its foot down to protect its national interests and to not give in to undue pressure being exerted by the Trump administration.
He insisted: “Pakistan is the only country that is on the verge of defeating the menace of terrorism. Our national and educational institutions and places of worship are much safer now, as the security situation has significantly improved.”
Asif also played down the hype over the BRICS joint communiqué in which leaders of the emerging economies – including China and Russia – expressed concerns over the threat posed by groups allegedly based in Pakistan.
There was nothing new in the BRICS declaration, he said and referred to the Heart of Asia Conference in December 2016 where a similar declaration was issued which was also endorsed by Pakistan.