Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said his country can be a role model for the Muslim world, speaking ahead of a donors’ meeting in Japan where Islamabad hopes to secure huge aid contributions.
He said a majority of Pakistani people would like to see friendly ties with India as well as neighbouring countries Afghanistan and Iran.
“Pakistan has transferred towards democracy,” Qureshi said. “And on Wednesday I represent a democratically elected government of Pakistan.”
“Pakistan can be a role model of the Muslim world,” he told reporters ahead of the meeting that aims to raise four to six billion dollars for the poverty-stricken country.
On Indo-Pak ties, he said: “Our movements towards normalisation (of ties with India) was very good. Unfortunately the Mumbai incident did create a setback.”
“But I must share with you that there is a large constituency of Pakistan that feels that it is Pakistan’s interest to have a normal, good, neighbouring relationship with India,” he said.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday evening to attend the conference, which US envoy Richard Holbrooke and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki are also due to join.
Qureshi said Pakistan has “a functioning democracy” with an elected president, national and district parliaments and its first woman speaker in the national assembly.