ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday dispelled the impression of change in policy about Syria, saying restoration of peace in the troubled country was principled stance of Pakistan.
“We strongly reject the speculations surfaced in media regarding change in Pakistan’s policy on Syria and linking it with the visit of Saudi Crown Prince,” he said in a statement in National Assembly.
“This impression is baseless and misleading that there has been a policy shift regarding Syria. Pakistan fully honours national and international laws in its agreements and sale of arms,” he said.
Mentioning to the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince, the Advisor said both the sides had discussed and agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in different areas, including cooperation in security and defence. Playing up the issue in a different context seemed like blemishing the country.
“I also vehemently reject the impression that Pakistan had changed its position on Syria on pressure of the Saudi government,” he added. “Pakistan stands by its stance of quick solution to conflict in Syria and restoration and peace and stability.”
He mentioned to international obligations of the country as well as United Nations resolutions and Geneva Communique, and said Pakistan stood committed to its stance of withdrawal of foreign armed forces from Syria, lifting siege of different cities and stop bombardment enabling the people there to run the affairs of the country.
He said Pakistan was also committed to its stance for protection of territorial sovereignty of Syria, stop atrocities and contribute to international efforts for restoration of peace in the restive country, respect to masses opinion and initiation of dialogue to defuse the situation.
Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan had shown maturity on the issue of Syria by calling for reconciliation and restoration of peace and stability.
“There should be no doubt about Pakistan’s stance that Syrian sovereignty should not be violated and I reiterate this position of the government,” he added.
The Advisor said Pakistan had also stressed on the UN and international community to cease arms supply and seek a political solution to the conflict.
He said the Prime Minister of Pakistan had also stressed at the United Nations and international community to restart the stalled political process in Syria to ensure peace and security.
He said it was necessary to deal with the chemical weapons, but it did not mean to heighten unrest and killing of thousands of citizens. Furthermore, there should be a transition system with full authority and all parties should cease shelling and aerial attacks.
Sartaj Aziz reiterated that Pakistan had principled stand on Syrian situation and “we are pursuing this policy without any change. We fully honour territorial integrity of Syria and pursue the policy of non-interference.”
“Our position and principled stance on the situation would dispel the misleading impression that Pakistan has changed its position on Syria,” he added.
He further stated, “There is no change of stance as it was manifested in Pak-Saudi joint statement at the time of the visit of the Crown Prince and our written position. Our stance is clear that we are not cooperating with anybody.”
“It is not our policy to interfere into other’s affairs. Our policy is principled and neutral,” he said and added non-state actors must be controlled. “We are not going to provide arms or assist anybody. It is our clear policy not to interfere.”