Pak’s enhanced access to western markets “a national security imperative”: Qureshi

September 23rd, 2010 - 4:53 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Sep 23 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that his nation’s push for increased access to the international markets should be treated as a national security imperative and not just an economic issue.

“Enhanced access for Pakistani products, with all the liberating effects of freer trade and commerce, should be seen as a strategic imperative,” the Dawn quoted Qureshi, as saying while addressing members of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

“The opening of markets to Pakistan will accelerate and catalyse the process of societal transformation in our part of the world. Without firing a single bullet, we will score an important and perhaps decisive victory in the struggle for hearts and minds,” he added.

Confident of a long-term Pakistan-US partnership to the benefit of both nations, Qureshi said the US fully understood that only an economically and politically stable Pakistan could contain the threat of terrorism.

“Working with the Obama administration in an elevated Strategic Dialogue over the last year, we have redefined a mature, sustained, long-term economic and political partnership. Our partnership is based on shared values, common goals and common interests,” he noted.

Commenting on the relations between Pakistan and the US since the last one year, Qureshi said that it was ‘multi-dimensional’, and had ‘institutional underpinnings that were hitherto missing.’

“Between last October and now, two sessions of an overhauled and expanded Strategic Dialogue have not only helped bring into sharper focus our common objectives, but also provided means to address them,” he added. (ANI)

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