ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon on Wednesday said Pakistan has taken steps leading to a paradigm shift in its foreign policy to regain its honour undermined by individual decisions in the past.In an interview to PTV, he said the world has taken notice after Pakistan asked the United States to vacate Shamsi airbase, halted NATO supplies and did not attend Bonn conference.He said the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister were following the right course by routing the matter of relations with the US and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) through Defence Committee of Cabinet and Parliamentary Committee on National Security.He said that Pakistan should stay firm and boldly express its viewpoint and make the world realise that it can take pressure while striving to regain its dignity.Those who were criticizing the government for acting slavishly should express support at a time when Pakistan wants to redefine its foreign policy, he added.The Ambassador said Pakistan was left on its own by the United States when it was member of SEATO and CENTO and during the crisis of 1971 and even the US passed Pressler Amendment to stop aid. While Pakistan helped the United States in beginning its ties with China at a time when it was mired in the war in Vietnam, he added. Haroon said the envoys conference prepared a document which would be presented to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and to the Parliament for redefining terms of engagement with the US and NATO and for deciding the future foreign policy.He said accepting foreign aid was like taking a sleeping pill but the country had to move towards self-reliance and keep its head up.The US is not giving anything in aid to Pakistan for the last one and a half year, he said, adding that the US was facing a financial crisis and the European countries were on the verge of recession, so Pakistan needed to look east, which have $ 10 trillion of financial reserves.The ambassador said Pakistan only got 1.5 to two billion dollars in Kerry Lugar bill and half of the total assistance was used for military and logistical purposes. American media is publishing numerous stories against Pakistan every day, he noted.The ambassador said Pakistan has to be friends with everybody, keep cool and does not need to get into a fight. Referring to the statement of US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, he said the US knows that it needs Pakistan, which is being tested to see how much pressure it can take.To a question, he said the earlier arrangement of Pakistan with the US was made by an individual and was the result of relations between former presidents Pervez Musharraf and George Bush.¬†He said Pakistan should not be blamed for everything that happens in its neighbourhood. Pakistan took burden of five million Afghan refugees and shared resources with them, helping their neighbour with billions in assistance but it was not getting a friendly response and was criticized frequently, he added. "We suffered damage but still we helped Afghanistan in whatever way it was possible," he added.
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