April 07 , 2017

Working for peace, end to Afghan proxy war: Pakistan

FO says fencing meant to combat terrorism

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it was constructively participating in all processes to bring the proxy war in Afghanistan to an end and bring lasting peace and stability to the country.

Addressing the weekly press conference here, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said the fencing of Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan was meant to combat terrorism.He said Pakistan’s foreign policy was aimed at maintaining peaceful neighborhood and friendly relations with all countries based on common interests.

The spokesman said Kabul’s action of not extending visas to Pakistanis had been taken up at the diplomatic level and Pakistan attached importance to facilitating movement of people from both sides.

However, the spokesman hinted at improvement in the overall bilateral relations where he said official contacts had proven useful. “There is a countries to work together to tackle the common threat of terrorism.

All the work related to the border management is being done on our side of the border. Border management measures are being undertaken to tackle terrorists coming from across the border as well as to protect Pakistani citizens. One of the main reasons of the border management is to facilitate travel of Afghan people to Pakistan,” he added.

Continuing tension between Pakistan and India over Kashmir where there are apprehensions that the summer of 2017 would see further escalation in protests by Kashmiris in the occupied valley against the Indian state has seen important world capitals trying to step in to diffuse the situation.

First it was Washington which, while commenting on Indo-Pak tensions related to Kashmir, said President Donald Trump could play a role in such “endeavors”. However, on Thursday it were remarks by China that has shaken policy makers in New Delhi.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said this week that instead of waiting for something to happen, "It's absolutely right that this administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward.”

Iran too says it is ready to offer mediation between Pakistan and India over the long standing issue of Kashmir. “Iranian government has announced its readiness for any support, for any hope of peace and tranquility in the region”, said Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Honardoost.

“We have not yet received any official request from both sides for Iran as a large country in the region to come and try to solve the matter. It is important to remove such tensions to ensure sustainable and durable peace in the region,” he said.

However, on Thursday China publicly threatened New Delhi that in return for Indian attempts to host the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Beijing could cause serious damage to Indo-Chinese relations by intervening in Kashmir.

The Chinese state media on Thursday said Beijing could interfere in “turbulent northern state” - Kashmir - against New Dehli’s invitation to the 82-year-old Dalai Lama, calling the move “clumsy and rude”.

China warned India that its involvement with Dalai Lama— who China believes is a separatist planning to liberate south Tibet from it— would only motivate China to do the same by intervening in Kashmir issue.

When questioned on world capitals willing to step in to mediate, he welcomed the statement of Ambassador Nikki Haley expressing concerns over the rising tensions between Pakistan and India and the offer of mediation.

“As you are aware, this has happened in the backdrop of the deteriorating human rights situation in the IHK, she also expressed the intention of the US to play a proactive role in deescalating the situation. Pakistan has always welcomed offers of mediation, which has been made by various countries, to resolve the outstanding issue of Jammu & Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India. The world’s concerns have been developed in the backdrop of the deteriorating human rights situation in the IHK”, he commented.

He expressed his disappointment over reaction from India to the US offer by wanting to speak on terrorism. “We also insist on speaking of terrorism, which forms one of the elements of the comprehensive dialogue process. We need to address the Indian-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Yadav and many other examples are irrefutable proof of Indian involvement in Pakistan”, added the spokesman.

He said India tries to hide the atrocities in IHK and is afraid of being exposed on account of crimes against humanity committed by the Indian Occupation Forces in the IHK. “India will eventually realize that the only solution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is the realization of the right to self-determination of Kashmiris through a fair and free plebiscite under the auspices of the UN in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions”, he said.

Elaborating on the recent remarks by the Iranian ambassador apprehensions regarding Gen ® Raheel Sharif heading the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), the spokesman clarified that this alliance is focused on combating terrorism by promoting solidarity and cooperation among the Muslim countries.

“It is neither for, nor against any country. The TORs of IMAFT are yet to be developed. However, Pakistan’s endeavor would be that IMAFT serves to bring Muslim countries together in the fight against terrorism. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are brotherly Muslim countries”, he said.



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