Pakistan confirms US military equipment sale

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has confirmed that it is procuring US military equipment to meet its critical defense needs.

At her weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said the proposed military equipment will also help us in the campaign against terrorism.

The spokesperson said the US State department has notified to the congress about the proposed sale of military equipment to Pakistan. She expressed the confidence that the final clearance will come through soon. Welcoming the US State department notification, the spokesperson said this is in recognition of Pakistan’s needs in counter terrorism operations.

About the banning of charity organization Al Furqan foundation by the United States, the spokesperson said the US has proscribed the entity under its domestic laws and it has duly informed Pakistan about its action.

On the Yemeni crisis, Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan wants an early end of war in Yemen. In this regard Pakistan is in touch with different Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran.

The spokesperson said there is complete consensus within Pakistan that in case of any threat to the holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will be the first country to come forward for their defense. She said Saudi Arabia is a fraternal country and any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty will evoke a strong response from Pakistan.

She clarified that the visit of Iranian foreign minister to Pakistan was scheduled before the crisis in Yemen. He said both Pakistan and Iran have agreed to encourage the warring factions in Yemen to move towards dialogue for de-escalation of situation. She said Pakistan has repeatedly condemned the actions of non-state actors who overthrew a legitimate government of Yemen recognized by the international community and the United Nations.

“Pakistan and Iran are ready to continue their efforts for peaceful resolution of Yemen crisis.”

She said the Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif who is visiting Pakistan had held detailed discussions with Pakistani leadership and exchanged views on regional situation especially the Yemen crisis and its possible solutions.

Replying to a question about the evacuation of Pakistanis from Yemen, the spokesperson said majority of the Pakistanis had been evacuated from the country. She said there are still some Pakistanis there as they did not want to leave Yemen due to various personal reasons.

Commenting on the statements and discussion being held at the joint sitting of parliament in Pakistan she said there is a complete consensus within Pakistan that in case of any threat to the holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will be the first country to come forward for their defense.

The spokesperson said Pakistan had very close, brotherly and friendly relations with Saudi Arabia and any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty will evoke a strong response from Pakistan.

When asked about the killing of seven Iranian border guards, the spokesperson said Pakistan has asked Iran to share the evidence or intelligence that the culprits of the incident have entered Pakistani territory. She assured that strict action will be taken if the culprits were found on our land.

When asked about the visit of Chinese President to Pakistan, the spokesperson said the Chinese president will visit Pakistan this month. However, dates have yet not been finalized. She said Pakistan and China are strategic partners and all weather friends. Such high level exchanges are aimed at further strengthening and cementing the bilateral relations.

Replying to a question about Pak-India ties, the spokesperson said Islamabad remained committed to resume result oriented, meaningful and sustainable dialogue process with New Delhi for resolution of all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Answering a question about Prime Minister’s expected visit to Indonesia this month to attend African-Asian Summit, the spokesperson said so far it has not been finalized. DNA

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