TASHKENT: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who is currently attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Uzbekistan’s capital, on Saturday said that the government was taking measures to improve its ties with all the countries, including the United States.
According to the details, Bilawal has held several bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of Central Asian countries on the sidelines of the conference — which is being held in connection with the preparations for the SCO Heads of State meeting scheduled to be held in September.
Bilawal met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for the third time since assuming office, moreover, he also held bilateral meetings with the Russian foreign minister.
Reacting to Imran Khan’s criticism that said relations between Pakistan and the US weaken during the tenure of the coalition government, the foreign minister said, “There is no truth in Imran Khan’s claims.”
Khan tried to strengthen relations with Washington when he was in power, he said and asked what was their fault if he failed to boost ties with the US.
Responding to another question, he said, “There are no plans of holding bilateral meetings with India in September.”
Bilawal said that both India and Pakistan are part of the SCO bloc and the two countries are only engaged in the context of the broad-based activities of the organization.
The foreign minister said: “India is our neighbouring country, while one can decide on a lot of things it cannot choose its neighbours; therefore we should get used to living with them.”
Bilawal recalled that after 2019 constructive dialogue with India became difficult, while statements based on Islamophobia by Indian officials are further creating hurdles in dialogue.
The statements of Indian politicians based on Islamophobia are making bilateral dialogues difficult, said Bilawal. The foreign minister maintained, “We are trying to find economic opportunities for our people”.
China assures continued support to Pakistan
Meanwhile, China has assured its continued support to Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity and playing a more important role in regional and international affairs.
The assurance was given by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting with FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting.
The Chinese foreign minister called for efforts to deepen cooperation along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Radio Pakistan reported.
Describing the two countries as real friends and good brothers, he said regardless of changes in the domestic and international situation, China and Pakistan unswervingly safeguard their friendship and support each other on issues involving their respective core interests and common concerns.
He said China supports its companies to invest in Pakistan and is willing to import more high-quality agricultural products from Pakistan.
In his remarks, Bilawal said Pakistan always regards the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries as the cornerstone of its foreign relations.