Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said his participation in Heart of Asia Conference was aimed at showing the world that bilateral tensions should not overshadow multilateral forums.
He was speaking in Islamabad tonight after attending two-day Heart of Asia Conference at Amritsar in India.
Sartaj Aziz said his visit, despite tensions with India on Line of Control, was highly appreciated by the participants of the conference. He said we wanted to show that we believe in peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and have complete solidarity and commitment to bring peace and security in the neighboring country.
He said during his interactions at a conference, he clearly mentioned that Pakistan is against all forms and manifestations of terrorism and a regional and collective approach is required to overcome this menace. He said he highlighted the steps being taken under National Plan of Action against all terrorist outfits. He said Pakistan does not need pressure on counter-terrorism because we have done more in this area in the last three years than any other country in the world.
Sartaj Aziz said that we are now sharing our experiences of counter-terrorism with the rest of the world. He said this is a process that we are doing in our own national interest to protect our own security.
Advisor on Foreign Affairs lamented the statement of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which he ascribed to frustration due to rising insurgency in that country. He said during his meeting with Afghan President he unequivocally reiterated Pakistan’s position that Islamabad would never allow its soil to be used against any country. A balanced and holistic approach is needed to resolve Afghanistan’s problems.
He said he had fruitful meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Turkmenistan Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov and the Minister of China. He said Turkmen Foreign Minister appreciated Pakistan becoming part of Lapis Lazuli Corridor. He also updated Sartaj Aziz on the status of TAPI pipeline project.
Replying to a question, Sartaj Aziz said our relations with Afghanistan stand independently due to our shared and historical bonds and India cannot divide us. -RadioPakistan