Islamabad – Pakistan yesterday expressed deep concern over growing incidents of hate crime, particularly in the West, following the Paris attacks.
“Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam which is a religion of peace and preaches brotherhood,” Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah told his weekly media briefing. He added Pakistan had strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Paris.
On November 13, at least 130 people were killed in Paris attacks claimed by Islamic State (IS). A wave of coordinated attacks hit at least six places in the French capital with the attackers targeting the Bataclan concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants.
Following the Paris attacks, incidents of Islamophobic hate crime have spiked. In the United Kingdom, a 300 percent increase in hate crime targeting Muslims was registered in the week following the attacks.
France stepped up its air campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria where Russia is also targeting the militant group in airstrikes, while backing a campaign for President Assad.
Commenting on shooting down of Russian military jet by Turkey, the spokesperson said tension between Ankara and Moscow should be eased through peaceful negotiations.
The spokesman also said Pakistan wants friendly relations with all the countries in the region.
When questioned about Pak-Afghan relations, the spokesman said Pakistan encourages contacts with Afghanistan at all levels.
Answering another question, he said Pakistan wanted development, peace and security in Afghanistan and was extending all-out support and cooperation to the neighboring country in that regard.
A delegation of Pakistani political leaders, led by ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, is currently visiting Afghanistan in a bid to do away with growing trust deficit between the two countries.
Islamabad says it attaches the highest value to relations with Afghanistan and desires restoration of peace and stability and for this purpose is encouraging Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation for the resolution of the conflict.
Commenting on Pak-India relations, the spokesperson said Pakistan is ready to discuss all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, with India without attaching any pre-conditions.
He said the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India should be resolved according to the UN resolutions and wishes of Kashmiri people.
INP adds: To another question, the Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan has consistently maintained that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) should follow an objective, equitable and non-discriminatory approach for admitting new members.
He cautioned that grant of exclusive membership to India as an exception on account of political and commercial consideration would adversely affect the credibility of the non-proliferation regime. It will also bear negative implications for regional peace and security.
The spokesperson said Pakistan welcomes remarks of NSG Chair during his visit to India last month wherein he ruled out a tailor-made India-specific solution for NSG membership.
He said Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our missions accredited to 48 member states of the Group continue to brief their interlocutors about Pakistan’s strong credentials for NSG membership. On Pakistan’s formal request, the Chair has circulated documents among members elaborating our point of view.
Responding to another question, he said Pakistan and Bangladesh enjoy brotherly relations independent of any influence of other country. He said there is a need for reconciliation in Bangladesh in line with the tripartite agreement of April 1974 that calls for forward looking approach towards the matters pertaining to the events of 1971.
He said Pakistan has noted the demarche given to our high commissioner and the press release issued by the ministry of foreign affairs of Bangladesh.
He said as there are several points that deserve to be responded, Pakistan would summon Bangladeshi high commissioner for the purpose.
Web Monitoring Desk