Foreign Office on Thursday took strong notice of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s statement in which he had sought the US President Donald Trump to take action against the alleged “safe havens” of terrorists in Pakistan, advising the Afghan leaders to act against terror outfits taking refuge inside their country, instead of indulging in rhetoric of blame game.
Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, while responding to media queries during his weekly briefing, said that Pakistan’s track record in the fighting terrorism stands above all other countries and the country’s operations against terrorism, including Zarb-e-Azb, have led to elimination of terrorists groups and stabilisation of Pak-Afghan border area.
Referring to the UN’s Study of 2014, General Nicholson’s assessment of Afghanistan, published on December 5, 2016 and the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, he said that the reports have amply identified that risks and obstacles in the way to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan remain internal.
“Therefore, mere rhetoric of blaming others to hide their failures in Afghanistan will not solve the problem,” he said, adding all recent independent assessments on the situation in Afghanistan suggest that the factors responsible for the deteriorating security situation are Afghanistan’s internal.
“We hope that Afghan forces take care of terrorist groups taking refuge in various provinces of Afghanistan,” he said, adding Afghan leaders should focus their attention on enhancing co-operation with Pakistan in counterterrorism.
He also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding Pakistan has played a role of the facilitator, whenever requested. “We also believe that blame game serves no purpose and bears no constructive results. The only way forward for the two countries is to work together and cooperate for the mutual benefit of the both,” he said.
“We have seen that in the past 15 years military solution has not resolved the Afghan problem. We, therefore, urge all parties to engage in negotiations. Pakistan supports an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process,” he added. He said that many countries are undertaking efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
To another question, he said that Pakistan has longstanding relationship with the US and is looking forward to work with Trump administration. “Pakistan and US have strategic dialogue mechanism covering diverse areas including economic, security, defence, education, scientific research and co-operation in other areas,” he said, expressing hope that the relations between the two countries will be strengthened further in the coming years.
Regarding the US President Donald Trump’s statement about terrorism, he said that terrorism has no religion, caste, creed or colour. “It [terrorism] is a global phenomenon and global co-operation is required to deal with this menace,” he added.
On Kashmir dispute, he said that Kashmir is a core issue between Pakistan and India which is a matter of concern to the world community, adding Pakistan has always welcomed anyone who wants to play role for mediation to resolve the dispute of Kashmir and other issues between Pakistan and India.
About Afghan refugees, he said the Prime Minister has instructed that Afghan refugees would not be repatriated forcefully, and their return will be voluntary in a dignified manner. He said the government has evolved a plan for their smooth repatriation and the date for voluntary return of Afghan refugees has been extended to December 31, 2017.
Regarding Indian involvement in terror activities in Pakistan, he said that Indian RAW agent, Kulbhushan Yadav, has given considerable information during investigation regarding India’s involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan. “We’re in touch with the Indian government on the information provided by Yadav,” he added.
He said that a number of terrorists apprehended in Gilgit-Baltistan are identified as agents of Indian RAW and they were arrested on the charge of undertaking subversive activities to sabotage the CPEC. He further said that the law-enforcement agencies of Pakistan are investigating the unfortunate Parachinar terrorist attack about any possible involvement of the Indian RAW in the attack.
About Pakistanis prisoners languishing in Indian jails, he said that High Commission remains in contact with Indian authorities and Pakistani prisoners, and provides them with all possible legal assistance.
Regarding two boys taken into custody in the aftermath of Uri attack, he said that many versions came to the fore from the Indian side about the ages of the boys in the custody.
Pakistani High Commission established contact with the Indian government as soon as the arrests were made, he said, adding first consular access was provided to them on November 29, 2016. On his first meeting with the children, he said that Pakistan’s consular officer facilitated a phone call of these children to their families. “Our High Commission is in touch in connection with the concerned authorities for their repatriation,” he added.
The spokesman said currently, the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir is getting worse. The killing, arbitrary arrests and fake encounters of Kashmiris continue and their fundamental rights are being denied constantly. He said international community must act to hold India accountable for their crimes against humanity.
About an alleged cracker attack on Bangladeshi Consulate in Karachi, he said that on January 24, Bangladeshi Deputy High Commission in Karachi reported that a cracker had been thrown in their compound and that the chancery officials were harassed by it. Local police along with the bomb disposal squad immediately arrived at the venue after the incident was reported, he said.
“It came to be known that the object was a simple cracker, the source of which entering the premises was not clear, that extinguished within 10-15 seconds of its eruption,” he said, adding Pakistan on its part has fulfilled all its responsibilities, including that of beefing up the security at the chancery as well as the residence of deputy high commissioner.