PM Imran referred to non-state actors in Iran terror comments: FO

Dr Faisal announces meeting of Pak-Iran border commission will be held in Islamabad next month


News Desk April 25, 2019
FILE PHOTO: EXPRESS

The Foreign Office (FO) has reiterated that Prime Minister Imran Khan's comments on terrorism during his recent visit to Iran were presented out of context.

At the weekly press briefing on Thursday, FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said PM Imran was referring to foreign-funded non-state actors when he spoke of Iran being affected by terrorists operating from Pakistani soil.

"We must remember that even Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from the Pak-Iran border region."

He announced that a meeting of the Pak-Iran border commission would be held in Islamabad next month. "Meetings of the Pak-Iran Joint Economic Commission and other bilateral groups will also be conducted over the course of this year," said Dr Faisal.

"As stated by the premier during the press conference with President Rouhani, security issues of both sides need to be resolved completely through greater cooperation. We remain committed to comprehensive efforts to this end."

Responding to a question, the FO spokesperson clarified that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project was also discussed. "Both sides remain committed to the successful completion of the project."

On PM Imran's visit to China starting today, the FO spokesperson said the four-day tour was of vital importance. "The prime minister will be holding meetings with the top Chinese leadership and other top leaders from around the world. This will be a very interesting and extremely important visit."

Dr Faisal also condemned India's continuing atrocities in occupied Kashmir. "The occupying force has martyred two more innocent Kashmiris and has barred cellular services in the occupied valley. India continues to inflict misery on the people of Kashmir. We strongly condemn the treatment of Yasin Malik and other Kashmiri leaders and, once again, urge India to realise the need for dialogue," he said.

He said Pakistan would continue to raise its voice against the anti-Muslim and anti-minorities policies of India's ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Responding to a question, the FO spokesperson said any future decision on Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Masood Azhar would be in line with Pakistan's national interest.

On Sri Lanka, Dr Faisal said Pakistan had strongly condemned the Easter terrorist attacks and multiple offers of assistance and support were extended to the Sri Lankans. "We have not yet received any request for assistance in the investigation and forensics. Pakistan remains ready and willing to provide all possible support to Sri Lanka."

On Afghanistan, he said Pakistan remains committed to an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution to the Afghanistan conflict.

The weekly FO briefing concluded on a question regarding the status of the Pakistani community among rising violence in Libya. "Our high commission in Tripoli is in constant contact with the Pakistani community. We are monitoring the situation closely and are facilitating Pakistani nationals," said Dr Faisal.

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