Published On: Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Published in Category: General

Pakistan should use skilful diplomacy to deal with US: Experts

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ISLAMABAD: Speakers and foreign policy experts Thursday suggested Pakistan to use highly skilful diplomacy to deal with the US and diversify its foreign policy to protect its interests. Speakers expressed their views in a seminar held here at Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on Thursday.

The orators said that Pakistan should make positive changes in its foreign policy to overcome challenges that halt its national interest in the current situation and focus not only on the US but on other major powers equally.

It was also being suggested by the speakers that Pakistan should practice highly skilful diplomacy to muddle out of the present fix in which it was not being allowed by the US to take decisions in its own national interest vis-à-vis issues like dialogues with Taliban, Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, etc.

The seminar titled “Pakistan-US Relations: Status and the Road Ahead” was addressed by M. Akram Zaki, former senator and general secretary foreign affairs Dr. Tahir Amin, Director National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-e-Azam University and Khalid Rehman DG-IPS.

M. Akram Zaki said that the US considers Pakistan a ‘friend enemy’ and apparently its only interests left with Pakistan were counter terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation.

He termed present situation of Pak-US relations as ‘a catholic marriage on rocks’ and said that it was becoming increasingly difficult for Pakistan to maintain stable relationship with the US. He also stressed that Pakistan’s relationship with US was a vital one and it has many dimensions.

Zaki termed revival of strategic dialogues to be held between Pakistan and US by the end of January as a step in the right direction. He was of the view that despite having ups and downs historically in their relationship the two countries has a future of long term cooperation.

In his keynote speech earlier, Dr Tahir Amin stressed that Pakistan should evaluate the cost and benefits of its involvement in the war against terrorism and determine the direction for future as per its national interest.

He mentioned that as per Snowden’s revelations fifty percent of US CIA’s black budget is spent on surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear program. He was of the view that strategic relationship between the two countries was mere rhetoric.

He said that the stability in Afghanistan was a potential point of convergence between the two countries, but the drone strikes and war on terror act as divergence points.

He also criticized the contradictory role of US in sabotaging Pakistan’s efforts to hold dialogues with Taliban by the use of drones, while attempting to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan at their end.

Other participants of the seminar also shared their views on the subject. The said seminar was attended by a number of diplomats, researchers, students and officials of concerned departments.
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