Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar appeared optimistic and sounded positive about the outcome of the attendance of Pakistani delegation in the headship of President Asif Ali Zardari in the two-day NATO summit, held in Chicago, America.
Without explaining the bad press that has dogged the Pakistani delegation during its visit, she observed, “When there’s a debate about Afghanistan taking place, in your opinion, should a country like Pakistan, which is a responsible regional player, an important neighbor, and a country that has huge stakes in peace and stability in Afghanistan, not participate?”
In her view, they had the highest stakes among the 60 countries that participated in the summit. She said the spillover effect of unsteadiness in Afghanistan is instant in Pakistan while the effect that too in Pakistan should be instantaneous if there is stability and peace in Afghanistan.
She said she would not agree with anyone at all who says that Islamabad should not go in such a gathering. Pakistan is a key neighbor of Afghanistan and is a responsible regional player, she added.
While taking umbrage to how the NATO summit was discussed in Pakistan, she observed, “The US side, the NATO secretary general and the government said that this was an unconditional invite”.
She, however, said that there was a discussion when they would announce the resumption of Ground Lines of Communication (CLOC).
The minister said they had proven that they were going to revisit foreign policy in a very transparent way by giving people confidence and moving forward in straightforward way.
She noted, “What we need to do is engage with the world, in giving our perspective on what the reality checks are and the challenges are, and how in a partnership way, with tools and frameworks that are acceptable to both parties, and that is pursuing mutual interests”.
Khar said that Pakistan wants to give a strong message to the world that the future of Afghanistan was vital for it and it would work to enable peace and stability in the region. She clarified that they had been doing that at great cost to Pakistan.
While replying to a query, the minister described that no hostile attacks were made on Pakistan during speeches and remarks at the NATO summit.