Islamabad, July 1 (IANS) Pakistan’s relationship with India and China is dynamic and needs “considerably more than an occasional affirmation of mutual respect”, a Pakistani daily said Monday.
An editorial in the News International said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks Saturday regarding relations with India carried “substance”.
Nawaz Sharif said that he intended to continue a policy of pursuing close relations with India and this would be a “hallmark” of his government’s “foreign policy outlook”.
Water and Power Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif is to soon visit India to explore areas of joint cooperation to mitigate Pakistan’s burgeoning power crisis, and there have already been exchanges at a technical level in Lahore in recent weeks.
The prime minister was meeting representatives of the Pakistan-India Joint Business Council, “well within his comfort zone as an industrialist himself”.
“Business is something the PM understands, the finer nuances of international statecraft however possibly not quite in such depth,” said the daily.
It went on to say that when Sharif met with a Chinese media delegation there was talk of the Pakistan-China Trade Corridor.
“…a trade corridor really could be transformative in parts of our ailing economy; and it is here that the technocrats and business acumen of the new government are going to be shaping future foreign policy for Pakistan.”
The editorial observed that foreign policy is rarely about dramatic moves or sharp changes of direction.
“Low-key as the British PM’s visit was it was part of the necessary maintenance that goes with a long-standing and generally stable relationship. No dramas – and neither should there be.
“With India and China the relationship is rather more dynamic, and needing considerably more than an occasional affirmation of mutual respect. Steady as we go seems to be the word from the bridge,” it added.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was the first foreign leader to visit Pakistan since the election that brought Sharif’s PML-N to power.