ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is to facilitate the second round of talks between Afghan government and Afghan Taliban.
This was stated by Foreign Office Spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah at his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday. He said Pakistan remains committed to supporting and facilitating an Afghan led and Afghan owned reconciliation process.
He said peace in Afghanistan is not only in the interest of Afghan people but also the people of Pakistan. Under the same spirit, Pakistan hosted the first round of talks between Afghan government and Taliban on 7th of July.
To a question, the spokesperson said he currently does not have the details of the next round of Afghan talks. He said it is up to the Afghans to discuss the date and the agenda of the talks. Pakistan’s role is that of the facilitator and we will facilitate the next round of talks.
The spokesperson said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations withAfghanistan. Both the sides remain in contact with each other to promote understanding between the two countries.
When asked about the reports of death of Taliban Chief Mullah Omar, Qazi Khalilullah said we have seen the reports of his death. Rumors of his death are circulating for some time. He said our authorities are trying to check the veracity of the reports.
When asked about India accusing Pakistan of Gurdaspur terror attack, the spokesperson said Pakistan has condemned the incident in strongest terms. He said Pakistan itself is the victim of terrorism. It is unfortunate that the Indian media started accusing Pakistan while the operation against attackers was still going on. He said Pakistan has affirmed many times that terrorism is our common enemy and requires a joint approach to combat this menace rather than indulging in blame game. Pointing fingers without investigation is not a healthy trend.
To a question, Qazi Khalilullah said both Pakistan and India are in contact to finalize dates of the meeting between the national security advisors. He said Pakistan remains committed to taking all necessary measures that seek to normalize relations with India based on mutual interest and addressing all the issues through sustained dialogue process.
The spokesperson, to yet another question, said Pakistan is capable to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Asked whether the matter of Indian interference in Pakistan will be taken up at the United Nations, the spokesperson said Pakistan will take all steps that are necessary to protect its national interests
To a question about Pakistan-Iran relations, Qazi Khalilullah said both the countries enjoy good relations. He said Pakistan had welcomed the Iranian nuclear deal. He expressed the confidence that lifting of sanctions on Tehran will enhance Pakistan-Iran economic and commercial interaction.
Earlier, in his opening statement, the foreign office spokesperson condemned the 26th July terror attack in Mogadishu which resulted in the loss of precious lives. He conveyed Pakistan’s heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families. He said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.