Pakistan opening up for the world: Finance Minister

Islamabad: Finance Minister Asad Umar Friday said Pakistan was opening up to the world with improved security situation in the country for economic development, trade and investment. Addressing the Graduation ceremony of 27th Advanced Diplomatic Course organized by Foreign Service Academy for Foreign Diplomats here on Friday, he said Pakistan was trying to improve trade and economic relations with different countries in order to exploit its full potential. Referring to the geo strategic location of Pakistan, the Finance Minister said Pakistan is the pivot of the Silk Road.  He said “we are in the process of implementing China Pakistan Economic Corridor project which has strengthened our economic relations with the time tested friend.”  He pointed out that Pakistan and Turkey are also on the path of developing strategic economic framework.  A strategic relationship council has also been set up with Saudi Arabia to further deepen the relations with the Kingdom.The Finance Minister said that Pakistan by its history and incredible heritage was a multi cultural society and “we want to make this accessible to the rest of the world.” Referring to the standoff with India, Asad Umar said things seemed to be on the mend. We, however, will continue to be guard till the elections are held in the neighboring India. He said Pakistan stays committed to improve relations with all the regional countries including India. He said “our hand of friendship is still extended to India but if India resorted to any misadventure, this hand will turn into a fist.” The Finance Minister said “we have the capacity and capability to defend the motherland.” On Afghanistan, Umar said Pakistan’s efforts for the Afghan peace process are now widely being appreciated. He said Pakistan will continue to play its role to make the dialogue process successful. In his welcome address, Director General of Foreign Service Academy Aftab Ahmad Khokar said that twenty three participants from eighteen countries participated in the advanced diplomatic course.  He expressed the confidence that the participants of the course will serve as Pakistan’s ambassdors to their home countries and contribute towards further promoting bilateral relations. One of the course participants from the West Indies appreciated the magnanimity shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan in defusing the tension with India.