Pakistan calls for better management of Pak-Afghan border

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday asked Afghan government and NATO to put in place strong measures for better management of Pak-Afghan border, saying that protecting this border is the shared responsibility of both the countries.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam here at weekly briefing said there is a need for taking extra burden regarding the protection and management of the border.

The spokesperson said, “We have more than 1200 posts across Pak-Afghan border and we also undertake surveillance at the border.”

She said Pakistan is keen to introduce biometric system at Pak-Afghan border, but Pakistan also wants equally strong measures from NATO and Afghan sides for management of the border.

The spokesperson while replying to a question said that there is perception that Abdullah Abdullah, who is likely to become the next Afghan President, is more pro-India and anti-Pakistan, she dismissed the perception that any Afghan leader is against Pakistan. She said, “It is up to the people of Afghanistan to elect their new government.”

Replying to another question she said Pakistan has repeatedly said that it is not supporting any Afghan party at the election.

The spokesperson said, “We do not know who will form the next government in Afghanistan, but whosoever forms the government, we will focus on building bilateral relations with the
neighboring country and engage with their leaders for this purpose.”

She said Pakistan wants peace and stability in Afghanistan as it is in its own interest.

“Stability and peace in Afghanistan will help us not only in countering terrorism and violence, but also open new vistas for joint ventures and trade with the Central Asian States, which Pakistan is keen to enhance,” said the spokesperson.

Answering to a question about the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to United Kingdom, Tasnim Aslam said the Prime Minister is expected to visit Britain by the end of this month or start of next month.

She said several ministerial level visits have taken place between both the sides to prepare ground for this head of government level talks. She hoped the visit will bring substantive progress in relations, particularly relating to enhancing bilateral trade and strategic partnership between Pakistan and Britain.

Commenting on Pakistan-US strategic dialogue, the spokesperson said several working groups except the one on law enforcement and counter terrorism have already met. The recent visit of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar particularly focused on enhancing cooperation in energy and infrastructure projects and promoting of bilateral trade, she added.

Replying to a question regarding concerns of different organizations over human rights situation in Pakistan, the spokesperson said, “We do not accept unjust criticism from any quarter.”

She asserted that one cannot be more concerned about human rights than the state of Pakistan. Reminding other states to also look into their track record of human rights, she
said the international community should work together to improve the human rights conditions around the world, but not focusing on one particular country.

Replying to a question on Syrian situation, the spokesperson said Pakistan does not interfere in matters of other countries, and it is for the people of Syria to decide their future set up. She said, “We have urged all the sides in Syria to exercise restraint for peace and security.”

She said there is no pressure on Pakistan to take a certain position regarding Syria and Pakistan only wants to see an end of violence there, and easy access of Syrian people
to humanitarian supplies.