ISLAMABAD — Pakistan always desired good relations with its neighbours, but India took this wish as a weakness, President Arif Alvi said on Monday as he accused New Delhi of trying to derail Islamabad’s relations with Beijing.
Alvi made the remarks while addressing a joint session of Parliament to mark the start of the fourth parliamentary year of the National Assembly, the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament, amid protests from the Opposition parties.
Pakistan always desired good relations with its neighbours, but India took this wish as a weakness, Alvi said, recalling the Indian air strike on a terror camp in Pakistan in 2019.
Alvi also alleged that India was doing immense injustice to the people of Kashmir. “I want to make it clear to India to stop the oppression in India and fulfil the promise of self-determination (in Kashmir),” he said.
Alvi said Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan and has been playing a positive role in the war-torn neighbouring country.
Alvi also appreciated China’s “significant” role in Pakistan’s progress, adding that the country held its relations with Beijing in great esteem, despite India trying to derail these relations.
“We look at relations with China with great respect and want to strengthen them. I want to make it clear to India that it will never be successful in its goals and Pak-China friendship will keep strengthening,” he said.
On the domestic front, Alvi said that the government in its three-year tenure put the country on a “prosperous and shining future” by its performance in economy, social and human development sectors as well as in the foreign policy arena.
Alvi also highlighted that a growing population was a threat and asked the people to pay attention to population control and requested the government to increase funding for this sector.
He also talked about trend of increasing violence against women: “In recent days, incidents of sexual violence against women emerged due to which everyone is sad and I think it is a national responsibility to take steps to curb such incidents,” he said.
Alvi, who is an ardent member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said that due to the efforts of the government, Pakistan’s exports increased to $25.3 billion in 2020-21 and the national bourse, the Pakistan Stock Exchange, “broke all past records and became Asia’s best-performing market and world’s fourth-best”. — (Agencies