LAHORE: Pakistan desperately needs a resilient foreign policy to ensure its political independence, economic independence and sovereignty. This was stated during a discussion forum held by Pakistan Foreign Affairs and Media Institute (PFAMI) on Friday. Former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed, academician Dr Rashid Ahmed, foreign affairs expert and political leader Muhammad Mehdi, senior anchor Sohail Warriach, senior journalist Javed Farooqi, Adnan Khan Kakar and other senior journalists attended the discussion. “US’s ‘do more’ policy should be dealt with constitutional vision guided by national interest without getting carried away. On the back of Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel, Palestine issue has taken a center stage which will set the tone for future relations between Muslims world and America,” they said. “If Pakistan wants to live as strong nation, a vibrant foreign policy is a must,” Shahmshad Ahmed said. He said that the dream of transforming Pakistan as welfare state might materialise if Pakistan never let its sovereignty and national interest get impaired by any influence. “Relations with countries ought to be on equality basis as envisaged by Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he said. Dr Prof Rashid Ahmed said that new status of Jerusalem was reflective of US president Donald Trump’s anti-Islam hostility embedded into his policy from the day first. It repercussions, he said, may be unleashed in the shape of US isolation, EU tension, escalation in terrorism and unrest in the entire world. Foreign affairs expert Muhammad Mehdi, who is also founder and chairman of PFAMI, said that foreign policy, true soul of national interest, required to represent Pakistan as responsible and strong country with forwarding looking approach. Shedding light on the connotation of PFAMI, he said “PFAMI is a think tank designed to thrash out serious discussions on Pakistan foreign policy, international relations and diplomacy. It also aims to reinvent role of media in Pakistan foreign policy building up Pakistan-centric narrative with adaptive vision.” Published in Daily Times, December 9th 2017.