ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Wednesday that the United States has always blamed Pakistan for hiding its own shortcomings in Afghanistan but Islamabad would never compromise its national security, integrity and dignity.

“Integrity, solidarity and economic interests of Pakistan will remain the top priority while forming the foreign policy,” he said while winding up a discussion on recent visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Pakistan in the Senate.

Islamabad, he said, is totally capable of defending its interests and will also protect it in its bilateral ties with Washington.

“Today, the US is here tomorrow it might not. Therefore, we tried to find solutions to regional issues with the support of regional players,” he said and urged the neighbouring countries to evolve a regional strategy for peace in the area – including Afghanistan.

“We are very active on the platform of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and will utilise it to resolve regional issues,” he said.

Asif assured the house that Pakistan's foreign policy will be evolved in light of the guidance from the parliament and other stakeholders and it will never be shaped under any foreign influence.

Pakistan’s foreign policy was not the responsibility of any single state institution and its being shaped up through the coordination of parliament and national security committee, he said.

Khawaja Asif said Pakistan is engaged with the United States to find common grounds for peace in Afghanistan. He said that it has been made clear on the United States that there is no military solution to Afghan situation, and India's role in the region as policeman is unacceptable.

US President Donald Trump, while unveiling his strategy for Afghanistan in August, had pilloried Pakistan for harbouring “agents of chaos” and the “very enemy US forces have fighting in Afghanistan” for the past 17 years.

On his maiden visit to Islamabad earlier this month, Rex Tillerson, while renewing the US demand seeking action against Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, said many of the solutions to the regional challenges have to be found in Pakistan.

He pressed Pakistan to speed up its efforts against terrorism but described Islamabad as ‘incredibly important’ player to deal with some of the pressing challenges facing the region.

Earlier, during the question hour, the Senate was informed that government is working to expand the horizon of Prime Minister's National Health Program in all district of the country.

Responding to a question during the Questions Hour, Minister of State for Inter-Provincial Coordination, Dr Darshan said that in the first phase, the programme is being implemented in forty districts. He said the programme is designed to provide financial protections to families living below poverty line for healthcare services.

The minister said through this programme, each enrolled beneficiary family is entitled of secondary indoor healthcare services worth fifty thousand rupees per year and seven priority indoor healthcare services worth of two hundred and fifty thousand rupees per year.

Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Pir Syed Saddaruddin Shah Rashidi said that the online system for registration and redressal of grievances has been centralised and upgraded to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis and their families.

He said a monitoring and complaint cell has been established to facilitate the overseas Pakistani round the clock on helpline at 111-040-040.

Pir Syed Saddaruddin Shah Rashidi said that one window Facilitation Desks have been established at all major international airports in Pakistan to resolve issues of overseas Pakistanis.