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“Pakistan is facing an apocalyptic crisis in the shape of devastating floods”, said Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari during his talk at Wilson Center, Washington D.C.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that catastrophic floods in Pakistan were proof that global warming was an existential threat facing the world today. Pakistan contributes less than 1% to the global greenhouse gas emissions yet we are one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. The Foreign Minister said Pakistan was seeking climate justice. We are a resilient nation and will rebuild better, greener using climate resilient infrastructure with the cooperation of our friends in the international community. He said that the devastating floods made Pakistan an apt case to become a model for such collective efforts.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the developing countries must be provided with sufficient means to adequately face the impact of climate change. Global problems can only be addressed through global solutions, said the Foreign Minister.

The Foreign Minister said the Government’s priority was to focus on ensuring economic and food security and seeking mutually beneficial trade and investment ties around the globe.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan valued its long-standing relations with the United States. Both sides were focused on strengthening a broad based relationship on the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit that is not viewed through the prism of any other country or relationship. Strengthening business, trade and investment ties and expanding cooperation in climate change, energy, agriculture, IT/tech and education was a top priority.

The Foreign Minister stressed that peace and stability in Pakistan’s neighborhood was an essential pre-requisite for economic prosperity and social sector development not just for Pakistan but also the wider region. In this context, the Foreign Minister underscored GoP’s desire to work closely with the international community to pursue peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Minister invited the attention of the audience to the rising wave of Hindutva-inspired anti-Muslim extremism in India which should be a matter of deep concern for the entire international community including the U.S. He also shared the concerns of the government and the people of Pakistan on the deteriorating human rights situation in IIOJK including attempts by the BJP government to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan wanted to resolve all outstanding issues with India through dialogue but onus was on India to create a conducive environment by reversing its illegal actions of August 5 2019 in IIOJK and stopping its oppression of Kashmiri people.

27 September 2022

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