PKONWEB Report (New York/Islamabad) — Pakistan’s role in US-Taliban peace dialogues may be paying dividends in terms of US-Pakistan relations which have been under strain.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday pointed out the change. “Our relations with the US are going to take a new turn. US-Taliban peace dialogues are underway in Doha and positive results are expected.”
“If peace is restored to Afghanistan, Pakistan could not only purchase cheap hydro power from central Asia but the country’s economy would strengthen and there would be an increase in the country’s exports.
Qureshi said relations between the two countries were under strain because of FATF, however, observers say there are other reasons also, including the country’s civil-military establishment being on one page on Afghanistan matter, a strong political leadership and an emerging no-nonsense corruption free governance.
“The relationship with the US is going to take a new turn, US-Taliban peace dialogues are underway in Doha and positive results are expected,” said Qureshi at a gathering of media persons and his supporters in his constituency NA-156.
The FM spoke at length about US-Taliban peace talks in Afghanistan, the government’s dealings with India over Kashmir and relationship with neighboring countries.
“US had placed Pakistan in the grey list of Financial Action Task Force [FATF] and consequently, its relationship with Islamabad was not that great. But because of our successful foreign policy, ties between both countries are improving,” he said at the Multan Tea House, a café on the lines of Pak Tea House in Lahore, located inside the Multan Arts Council.
The positivity swing came with Imran Khan coming into power, some observers say. “We’ll only ally with the US for peace, not war,” a newly-elected Prime Minister Khan had said in September. Months later, President Trump taking cue in PM Khan’s statement, wrote to him seeking assistance in bringing the Taliban to the peace table.
Until then, observers have been dubbing the US-Pakistan relationship fatigue-borne strategic disappointment.
“For long the war is underway in Afghanistan and it used to say that terrorists coming from Pakistan are carrying out terrorist activities in their country. But this was a planned policy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wants to isolate Pakistan. India wants Pakistan’s isolation on diplomatic level but it has failed.”
Regarding the recent tensions with India over Kashmir, he said: “Pakistan wants peace in the region but will not compromise on Kashmir. We raised our voice over human rights violations in India-held Kashmir at every forum, including the House of Commons, the United Nations and the European Union.”
The foreign minister said it was a big achievement for Pakistan that despite its boycott of the Organization of Islamic Countries meeting, the forum termed Indian atrocities in held-Kashmir state terrorism.
“We had already informed the world that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could carry out some adventure in Kashmir before elections.”
With regard to Iran, he said: “Friendly ties with Iran are quite important to us. We foiled all attempts that were being made to poison our relationship with Iran.”
“Pakistan has embarked on bolstering a close to the home foreign policy with regional players and at the same time being proactive with leading capitals of the world– it’s paying off dividends”, said one observer.