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Pakistan’s Strategic Future Lies With China: Maleeha Lodhi

Former ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s ties with China are strategic, historic and pivotal to the country’s foreign policy. She made these remarks in a webinar titled “Multidimensional challenges to the foreign policy of Pakistan: a way forward” organized by the Muslim Youth University (MYU) department of international relations.

The former envoy said that Pakistan faces daunting foreign policy challenges in a turbulent global and regional environment. Rising tensions between the US and China have a direct bearing on Pakistan. She said that CPEC is emblematic of China’s aim to strengthen Pakistan, economically and strategically and must be our overriding priority.

On Afghanistan, Lodhi said that Pakistan should extend whatever assistance it can to the much-delayed peace process. She emphasised that Islamabad should think of a long-term policy and to prepare for different scenarios that might emerge in Afghanistan.

While discussing UAE-Israel peace agreement, she said that it was a betrayal to the Palestinian cause. Pakistan stands for a two-state solution, she said.

Furthermore, on Kashmir, Lodhi said that Pakistan needs to adopt consistency in highlighting its stance on the Kashmir issue. She added that Pakistan should use the United Nations Security Council’s platform for which Pakistan needs votes from 16 states to call it into session.

Pakistan should also expand its economic ties with other countries, she said, adding that African countries can be new trade routes for Pakistan.

The webinar also included Dr Syed Rifaat Hussain, Muslim Youth University Vice-Chancellor Dr Syed Tahir Hijazi and head of department of international relations Dr Muhammad Munir as panelists. It was attended by more than 100 participants from civil society, media professionals, academia, international organisations and students.

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