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Saeed’s house arrest has nothing to do with Pak foreign policy: Sartaz Aziz

Looking forward to better ties with the Donald Trump administration, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has said the house arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed is part of the National Action Plan (NAP) and has nothing to do with the foreign policy.

His remarks come as some analysts viewed the move of detaining Saeed as an assurance to the new U.S. administration of Pakistan’s obedience.

While delivering a lecture on ‘Pakistan’s foreign policy’ at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) on Saturday, Aziz said Pakistan intends to have good relations with all neighbouring countries including India, Afghanistan, China and Russia.

He stressed that resumption of dialogue is necessary to resolve the Kashmir issue, adding Indian leaders have no timeframe to start dialogue with Pakistan as currently state elections are underway in India.

He asserted that Pakistan will continue its efforts for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is determined to counter growing threats to peace in the Indian Ocean, particularly from its “nuclearisation” by India, Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said.

Aziz on Saturday said the Indian Ocean faced challenges to peace due to its militarisation, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, increased missile capabilities and power projection by foreign militaries, Dawn online reported.

The foreign affairs advisor also listed piracy, illegal fishing; human, drugs and arms smuggling; maritime pollution and climate change as major problems.

“This trend is likely to intensify in the coming years,” he warned at the ‘International maritime conference on strategic outlook in Indian Ocean region, 2030 and beyond — evolving challenges and strategies’.

“We are aware of our national interests and every effort will be made to strengthen our capacity to ensure that we remain ready to meet the emerging maritime security challenges. For us, to remain oblivious of the developments taking place in the Indian Ocean region is not an option.”

Aziz said nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean had further destabilised the region.

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