Against the backdrop of an ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, President Dr Arif Alvi has expressed surprise that the United States had not learned from the past and “fell into another trap”.

“I mistakenly believed that the US would have learned a lesson from the Vietnam war and would not fall into another trap,” the president said while addressing the concluding session of a two-day international conference on ‘South Asia: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges’.

The president’s remarks came at a time when Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Russia amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

He, however, expressed his desire to have enhanced relations with the US in different fields, especially the information technology sector.

President Alvi said Europe had decided against any more wars in their own lands but continued to destroy other countries in Africa and the Middle East.

“Instead of supporting any polarisation, Pakistan desired win-win cooperation in the fields of information technology and trade with the nations for peace and development in the region,” he added.

The president said Pakistan did not want to be part of any polarisation, and the country’s forefathers had also advocated co-existence before demanding a separate homeland.

He told the gathering, consisting of former ambassadors and researchers and academics, that the vested interests dominated morality in international affairs.

President Alvi said the world was looking for leadership based on morality and highlighted Pakistan’s humanitarian gestures of hosting millions of refugees contrary to Europe which he said let them drown in the Mediterranean, besides reports of rapes and murders.

Referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biased approach targeting minorities, President Alvi said the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) government was adding fuel to fire through its Hindutva ideology. “Despite repeated commitments by the United Nations, the Kashmir issue is still unresolved owing to the vested interests of the countries,” he added.

The president said information technology was the biggest opening for Pakistan and the region. However, he emphasised bridging the gap between the decision-makers and the fast-developing technologies.

President Alvi said the fake news phenomenon was getting stronger which could even destroy the countries. He said people would see an avalanche of fake news in the 2023 general elections in Pakistan, as around 60 to 70 percent of messages circulating on social media during the last elections in India were found to be fake.

The president said the morality protecting humanity and human rights, such as women’s emancipation, should be the ideals for society, instead of vested interests.

In a separate meeting with Sardar Masood Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador-designate to the United States, President Alvi said Pakistan wanted to improve bilateral cooperation with the United States in various fields, particularly in the areas of trade and economy.

“The IT sector of the country has immense potential and foreign investors need to capitalise upon the investment-friendly environment of the country,” he said.


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