President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declared that Asia will “remain most important as will be the subcontinent” in the foreign policy of Pakistan.
The President was addressing the opening session of a three-day conference of the Pakistan envoys in Asian countries held at the Presidency under his chairmanship.
Opening the meeting, the President said that this meeting “underlines importance of Asia” in the foreign relations of Pakistan.
He expressed the view that Pakistan could develop beneficial political, economic and cultural ties with countries of Asia especially as the economy of several of these countries were complementary to that of Pakistan.
The President said that this conference was taking place against the background of vastly improved situation than what his administration inherited last December.
Commenting on the recent Constitutional Accord concluded by different political parties on October 20, he remarked “worse days are behind us.”
In the President’s view the conference could help the Government in formulating “a clear and logical foreign policy.”
Referring to problems created for Pakistan by hostile propaganda abroad, the President said the expectation that after dismemberment of Pakistan there might be some atonement in attitude of the British and other foreign newspapers had not been realized. While conceding the right of newspapers to comment freely, he wondered whether some of them were entitled to “tell utter lies” as they had been doing with regard to the present situation in Pakistan.
The President referred to a fabricated story of supposed walk-out at a public meeting in Sanghar last March on the occasion of his speech. That meeting, he said, had been as successful as the one in Quetta to honour Princess Ashraf of Iran, but some foreign newspapers had published false and fabricated reports to damage the image of Pakistan.
The President also criticized those British and other foreign newspapers who tried to create an impression that the NWFP and Baluchistan were “on the verge of seceding and that there was turmoil in Sind and the Punjab.” He said the facts of the situation were otherwise and situation in these provinces was well under control. The President was confident that following Constitutional Accord Pakistan would move forward economically and politically.