ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday reiterated that it wants ‘result-oriented’ dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, and promote bilateral relations.
Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah told a weekly briefing that there has been no response from New Delhi so far about the participation of Indian Foreign minister in the Heart of Asia Conference being held in Pakistan next week. “Pakistan has not received any response from India regarding participation of its Foreign minister in the Heart of Asia Conference,” he said.
The spokesperson said following a brief interaction between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris on the sidelines of climate summit, Pakistan was mediating on how the dialogue process can move forward and two countries could restart the negotiations. He said that Pakistan wants a result-oriented and fruitful dialogue with India to resolve all the outstanding issues including the core issue of Kashmir.
A book by renowned Indian TV journalist Barkha Dutt has recently claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held an hour-long secret meeting on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last year. “Away from prying eyes and more than just a mere handshake, the two leaders are said to have met secretly in a meeting that was facilitated by Indian steel magnate Sajjan Jindal, the brother of former Congress MP Naveen Jindal,” according to the book.
Both countries have denied any such meeting.
Replying to another question, the spokesperson said that Pakistan has received confirmation from China, Kyrgistan, Tajikistan, Iran and Afghanistan that their Foreign ministers will attend the two-day conference being held next week on the theme of “Istanbul Process-Enhanced Cooperation in Countering Security Threat and Promoting Connectivity in Asia”.
Khalilullah said the main purpose of the Heart of Asia conference was to promote cooperation among Afghanistan and regional countries to ensure peace, security and development in Afghanistan. He said countering terrorism and alleviating poverty will also be the other main topics of the conference.
He said preparations for the Heart of Asia Conference were in full swing which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani will participate in the conference as special guest.
The ministerial meeting is being held in Islamabad on Dec 9, which is being attended by about 27 countries. India is part of the process, which promotes the vision of regional cooperation and confidence-building with a focus on Afghanistan.
Replying to another question, the spokesperson said that Pakistan considered Daish as a terrorist organisation and that coordinated efforts by the international community are required for its elimination. He said there was no footprint of this terrorist organisation in Pakistan. Pakistan is committed to root out terrorism and extremism from the country and the Zarb-e-Azab operation is going on successfully in this regard, he added.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan had been cooperating with the international community through intelligence sharing to fight terrorism and extremism.
He said Pakistan was in favour of coordinated action against terrorists and not in favour of joint action.
He strongly condemned terrorist incident in Tunisia on 24th of last month in which 14 precious lives of security personnel were lost. He also sympathised with the bereaved families.
To a question regarding statement of Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, the spokesman said it was against diplomatic norms for an ambassador to try to undermine relations of his host country with a third country. He expected all regional countries to support efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Replying to a question, the spokesperson said there were 2,308 Pakistanis serving sentences in different jails in Saudi Arabia. He said there were about 2,300 waiting deportation in various detention centres in Saudi Arabia. He explained that these Pakistanis were booked under different cases of violation of Hajj and Umrah visas.
Answering another query, the spokesperson said Pakistan was reviewing the news related to the injury of Mulla Mansoor, the current chief of Tahreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan, in a firefight. “We are not aware of this incident. However, we have noted that Taliban spokesperson has denied that any such firefight took place.”