Daesh footprint not to be tolerated on Pakistani soil: FO spokesman

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has categorically stated that there is no footprint of Islamic State (IS) militant group – Daish – on its soil and the shadow of the outfit will not be tolerated.

At his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said that the country is fully aware of the threat posed by the outfit and the security forces are alert to it. He said that our military and security forces have also made it clear that the terrorist outfit will not be tolerated on the land.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan is cooperating with the international community in combating terrorism. “We support a coordinated approach against terrorism for complete eradication of the menace” he said. About the Paris attacks, Khalilullah said that Pakistan condemned the attacks at different levels and the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the adviser on foreign affairs also visited the French embassy to record their condolence.

When asked about the rise of Islamophobia following the Paris attacks, the spokesperson said terrorism cannot be associated with any religion. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and the international community also recognises this fact. He said that Pakistan condemns Islamophobia.

To a question, the spokesperson urged the international community not to pursue discriminatory policy on nuclear issue in South Asia saying this will have impact on the strategic stability of the region. He termed the New York Times editorial on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals as mistaken and based on prejudice.

He said that the editorial attempted to portray Pakistan as a country irresponsibly building the nuclear arsenals. He said that Pakistan was not the first to introduce nuclear weapons in South Asia. He said recent reports suggest that India is rapidly building its nuclear arsenal program. Special waiver for India on nuclear trade is a destabilising factor.

He said Pakistan repeatedly offered to India the strategic restraint regime including conflict resolution and conventional balance. He pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz also in his address to the United Nations made fresh proposals for peace in South Asia but India refused to adopt that path.

He said that the international community should focus on India’s lack of response to Pakistan’s constructive peace proposals as well as its aggressive posture. As regards Pakistan-India dialogue process, the spokesperson said that Pakistan is ready for talks with India on all outstanding issues but the other side should not attach strings to it.

To a question, Khalilullah said that a two-day meeting of joint Pakistan-Afghanistan economic commission begins in Islamabad on Monday. The meeting will consider ways and means to further expand economic cooperation between the two neighboring countries. He said that Pakistan has supported an afghan led and afghan owned peace process and will continue to do so in future.

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