An year of accomplishments

By Saima Zaman

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Under immense financial constraints and disturbed relations with India, PTI government has completed its first year. Even in presence of such hurdles there are many achievements which are worthy enough to discuss. Soon after coming in power, PM Imran Khan revealed that he is aware of the challenges and will try to cope with all accordingly.
In Khan’s victory speech he elaborated his vision for the nation and offered a glimpse of his foreign policy priorities. This was for the first time that someone in power came up with a clear vision and a way forward to avert the possible hurdles. In his preamble to the foreign policy section of his speech, he spoke about Pakistan’s economic crisis and the need for the country, as a result, to make peace with all its neighbours.
This is obviously a laudable goal and government is making it one of its priorities. Pakistan is currently witnessing some exceptional diplomatic breakthroughs under the supervision of PM Imran Khan. While talking about one year performance of the government with regards to foreign policy achievements, current government has made significant achievements on the foreign policy front during its first year.
Pakistan’s new leadership engaged the world with confidence as the Prime minister had personal meetings with several world leaders. During the one year, the country pursued the vision of a peaceful neighbourhood and thus improved its image, increasing investment flows and energising the diaspora. During the past year, Imran khan further enhanced a closer relationship with Gulf states, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and hosted top leaders from both countries. Imran khan’s foreign visits proved to be very successful and engraved positivity.
China being one of the closest friends of Pakistan has immense to share. The success story of China Pakistan Economic Corridor is an evident example. PM is of the view that the success China has had lifting seven hundred million people out of poverty has much for Pakistan to learn from this experience. The relations with Saudi Arabia have been resettled by the current government. Resetting relations with key partners including Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the accomplishments.
Imran Khan has chosen Saudi Arabia for his first foreign tour after becoming prime minister. The premier had visited KSA on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. In October last year, at a time when various countries pulled out of an investment conference in Riyadh, Prime Minister Imran Khan was among the leaders who attended the event, lending his support to the crown prince and his initiative. In February this year, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Pakistan for a two-day state visit and $20bn investment deals were signed.
This also shows the success on diplomatic up fronts. Pakistan is actually in the phase of revamping its foreign relations with other countries especially with the neighbours. Recent visit of PM Imran Khan appeared to be a milestone in the history of Pak-US relations as it is being considered as an opportunity to revive a fractured relationship between the two states. Khan met US President Donald Trump , with both sides reaffirming their commitment to the Afghan peace process and the US president offering his services to mediate in the Kashmir dispute. During one year, the PTI government also focused on forging stronger economic partnerships with Gulf countries, especially, Saudi Arabia and UAE yielding multibillion dollar investments, budgetary support and deferred oil payments.
The Strategic Engagement Plan was finalised with the European Union, besides improving the trajectory of relations with Russia, Europe and Central Asian partners. Meanwhile, Pakistan achieved positive re-engagement with Afghanistan at a summit level and supported the peace process. It followed a constructive approach towards India with an offer of structured dialogue, stressing on a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The Government has also completed 80 per cent work on the Kartarpur peace corridor.
The foreign policy strongly advocated the Jammu and Kashmir dispute at all available forums, including the OIC, the UN, and the European and British Parliaments. Government has also played a leading role in combating Islamophobia, white collar crime and climate change with effective participation at UN, OIC, SCO and other forums. Government is undertaking a massive initiative to plant 10 billion trees in the next four years to foster environmental awareness and mitigate the effects of climate change under clean and green Pakistan initiative.

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