Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif restated his country’s strong commitment to regional peace, but stressed that long-term peace in South Asia was related to resolving the Jammu and Kashmir issue in accordance with UN resolutions and Kashmiris’ wishes, and nothing less would suffice.
“We desire permanent peace with India through conversation since conflict is not an option for either country,” the premier stated to a group of Harvard University students, according to The News.
Sharif stated that Islamabad and New Delhi should compete in trade, economy, and improving people’s living standards.
Pakistan was not an aggressor, but its nuclear assets and highly trained army serve as deterrents, he said, adding, “We spend on our military to secure our borders, not to engage in aggression.”
The delegation was made up of students from various countries and academic backgrounds.
The Prime Minister welcomed students and held an open conversation about Pakistan’s current difficulties.
In response to a query about the national economy and the IMF programme, the prime minister stated that Pakistan’s economic crisis has been caused by structural issues as well as political instability in recent decades.
He stated that the first few decades since Pakistan’s inception saw significant growth across all sectors of the economy when there were plans, national will, and an implementation system in place to generate results.
“We gradually lost ground in areas where we were ahead. National productivity was reduced as a result of a lack of focus, enthusiasm, and policy action.”