The meeting of the Senate Forum for Policy Research (SFPR) convened on Thursday at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS).
Chaired by Senator Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashadi, the meeting was attended by Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Mir Muhammad Naseer Mengal, Senator Sehar Kamran, Senator Faisal Javed, Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan and Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour.
The Forum deliberated over the report on the Foreign Policy of Pakistan and its various facts. Chairman SFPR, Senator Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi lauded the efforts of the team involved with the compilation of the report and said that this report, once presented at the Senate, will call for a broader discussion by Committee of the Whole to formulate an effective policy.
He said that this will have a tremendous effect on Pakistan’s Foreign Policy in the near future.
Senator Sehar Kamran while appreciating the efforts that went into compiling the report stressed the need for further consolidation, so that it may provide the basis for a strong policy that would go a long way in improving international ties. This recommendation was seconded by most of the members of the Forum.
Senator Sehar Kamran was of the view that a proactive approach towards foreign policy needs to be adopted. She said that foreign policy should be in line with the determinants of national security strategy as well as elements of our national power. She added that a coherent long term foreign policy based on consensus and proactive diplomacy is vital to secure Pakistan’s national interest. She stressed the need for Pakistan to concentrate in building and enhancing its image internationally and strengthening of regional institutions. She added that keeping pace with changes at international order was imperative to strike changes in our foreign policy.
Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini asserted the need to maintain cordial ties with neighbours to maintain peace and stability in Pakistan and within the region. He said that for this SFPR report on Foreign Policy would play an important role through its recommendations to achieve these goals. He stressed the need for improvement in ties with Iran and said that for Pakistan’s own security it was imperative that Iran is not isolated.
He stressed the need for a consolidated report after a comprehensive discussion on this Forum.
Senator Nuzhat Sadiq was of the view that keeping pace was important especially in the case of Gwadar. She said that the Chinese have shown great concern regarding slow progress in development of the port, to which as an ally and friend Pakistan must pay heed.
At the end of the meeting Senator Sehar Kamran presented a Resolution on Kashmir that was unanimously passed and read: The members of this Forum express their solidarity with the people of Kashmir. We strongly condemn Indian brutality and atrocities and call for resolution of the Kashmir issue at the earliest as per aspirations of the people of Kashmir and according to UN Resolution.
A three members committee was formed to fine tune the report before being presented to the Senate.