Asif opens three-day diplomats’ conference to review foreign policy

 
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ISLAMABAD Sept 5 (TNS): A three-day conference of Pakistani diplomats began in Islamabad on Tuesday to review the Pakistan’s foreign policy in the wake of latest developments, including the tense diplomatic ties with the United States in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s Afghan strategy and criticism of Pakistan for allegedly housing terrorists.

According to details, selected Pakistan’s envoys in important world capitals including Washington, Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi and others are participating in the conference to discuss the foreign policy in the light of current geopolitical and regional situation. Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif inaugurated the conference.

The concluding session of the conference would be chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The conference comes amid growing diplomatic tensions between Pakistan and the US in the wake of blistering criticism by President Donald Trump for “housing the very terrorists Americans are fighting in Afghanistan.”

Subsequently, Pakistan suspended talks with the US and deferred a visit by US acting Assistant Secretary of State in protest.

The visit of Alice Wells, acting assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Asian Affairs, was scheduled for Aug 28 and it would have been the first high-profile visit by a US official since Trump’s Afghan policy announced in a televised speech on August 21.

However, it would have been Wells second visit to Islamabad in a month.

“At the request of the Government of Pakistan, Acting Assistant Secretary Wells’ trip has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson told an international news agency in Islamabad.

Subsequently, Pakistan’s foreign ministry released a statement echoing similar views.

In a firm rebuttal to Trump’s claims that Pakistan had harbored “agents of chaos”, the country’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement asserting its commitment to fighting terrorism.

“No country in the world has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders. It is, therefore disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation in this effort,” it said.

 

Trump dramatically increased the pressure on Pakistan during a much anticipated national address on Monday in which he laid out a new strategy on the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan.