Oct 242018

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday assured that Saudi Arabia had placed no conditions in exchange for the bailout money it pledged to Pakistan during the premier’s visit to the Kingdom to attend an investment conference, DawnNewsTV reported.

He made these remarks on Wednesday during an informal conversation with media persons in Islamabad. “We have received a total package of $6.2 billion,” the minister said.

FM Qureshi said there has been no change in Pakistan’s role in the Islamic military alliance and asserted that “a clear message has been conveyed to the United States that dialogue is the only way forward when it comes to the Afghanistan issue”.

“Unless and until the Taliban are integrated into the system, it is not possible to move forward [to address the Afghanistan issue],” he said.

“The US itself is currently trying for initiating talks with the Taliban. It is wrong to say that Pakistan must do everything. The Taliban are not in our pockets,” FM Qureshi commented.

Also read: Shah Mehmood Qureshi: Always next in line

Speaking about the war-torn region of Yemen, the foreign minister said that Pakistan’s stance will remain the same, in that, the state does not believe in a military solution to the problem.

“We will not send our forces there,” he affirmed.

Referring to the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, he said that there were difficulties in completing the project due to the fact it was marred by multilateral sanctions imposed by the United Nations and unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union.

As the conversation turned towards relations with India, the foreign minister said: “India has no other option but to hold dialogue. Their war of words and blame games are nothing new.”

FM Qureshi further said that it seems that India will come forward for dialogue in the run up to their general elections due to be held in April or May 2019.

“We are in no rush either,” he stated for the record.

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