Shaukat Aziz about Pakistan-India Relations, Role of China and SCO

03.03.2017
Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan (2004-2007), in interview with Fyodor Lukyanov, Academic Director of the Valdai Discussion Club, expressed the opinion, that Pakistan-India relations still have many challenges after PM Modi came to power in India. Previously under PM Vajpayee there was a light at the end of the tunnel, both sides discussed acute problems, including Kashmir. Bilateral dialogue was developed with some help of foreign friends, especially Great Britain, due to its historic role.

Regarding Kashmir the Northern Ireland formula was proposed. Unfortunately, Vajpayee and his party lost the parliamentary elections. PM Modi took a more rigid position toward Pakistan domestically and on the international arena. Aziz still remains cautiously optimistic about further development of Indo-Pakistani relations. Anyway both countries have big domestic challenges. The US, Russia, China can play a positive role in the process of normalizing Indo-Pakistani relations.

According to Aziz, role of China in the region is very important. Its help does not come with any strength and is not directed against any third country. Pakistan has excellent relations with China in different areas. One Belt One Road initiative is amazing. It is a true game-changer not only for Pakistan and China, but for the whole region.

There are real chances to improve India-China and Russia-Pakistan relations. And Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a very good concept as a geographic grouping of countries with common interests. Its potential is tremendous.

Aziz also spoke about Brexit and possible problems for diasporas in the UK. He said, that huge Pakistani diaspora can hardly meet problems after Brexit, because Pakistanis lived in Great Britain for decades, newcomers are Europeans. Every government has the right to control people entering the country.