PML-N will revisit Pak foreign policy on India: Nawaz Sharif's aide

Nawaz SharifNawaz Sharif is all set for a record third term as Pakistan's Prime Minister. (Reuters)

The PML-N, which is set to form government in Pakistan, will revisit the foreign policy, including all "covert and overt" agreements with the US, while ties with India will be picked up from where they were left off in 1999, according to a media report today.

The focus of PML-N's foreign policy will be on safeguarding the "supreme national interest", an unnamed close aide of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who advises him on foreign policy, was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

"It may sound cliched but we mean it," the aide said.

Referring to relations with India, the aide said two-time former premier Sharif would pick up from where he left off in 1999, when then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited Lahore.

Asked if the PML-N would renegotiate current terms of engagement with the US, including a deal to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the aide said, "We will look into all such arrangements to find out whether

they conform to the country's national interest."

The PML-N would not seek a "divorce" with the US, he said.

"Our foreign policy will make sure that it protects Pakistan's interest without damaging its relations with other countries, including the US," he added.

The aide recalled that Sharif had enjoyed a good rapport with the US administration in 1998, even after Pakistan conducted its nuclear tests.

He said the PML-N would persuade the US administration to halt drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions.

"We consider such attacks a violation of our territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said.

In an interview before the May 11 polls, Sharif said he was confident he would reach an agreement with the US on controversial issues, including drone strikes.

Analysts believe the US troop pull-out from Afghanistan in 2014 will test Sharif's negotiating skills.

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