Threats to Pakistani artists in India deplorable: FO spokesman


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday has maintained that the four-point initiative presented by Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif at the UN General Assembly is the way forward for reducing tension and resolution of outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India, reported Radio Pakistan.

While briefing the media in Islamabad, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said Pakistan has never shied away from talks with New Delhi as they have always insisted for negotiations on all issues including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said Pakistan is ready for talks with India but pre-conditions are not acceptable.

Responding to a question, Qazi Khalilullah said the purpose of handing over dossiers to the UN Secretary General was to inform him about the Indian involvement in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan will continue to inform the United Nations about its concerns in this regard in future as well.

When asked about the eruption of violence in India on cow-slaughtering, the foreign office spokesperson said the country which claims to be a secular state should guarantee the basic rights of minorities. Attacks on Muslims on the issue of cow slaughtering are beyond comprehension and a cause of concern for the Muslim Ummah.

Besides this he assured that Pakistan is also looking into the issue of offloading the passengers from Samjhauta Express at Wagah.

He also expressed regret that Pakistani artists were receiving threats in India and stressed that cultural exchanges are significant for better relations between the two countries.

To a question about nuclear cooperation, Qazi Khalilullah said Pakistan seeks cooperation of the international community including the US on civil nuclear energy. He said there should be non-discriminatory approach on nuclear issues including access to peaceful use of nuclear energy. He said the country is producing nuclear energy to meet its energy demands.

The spokesperson strongly rejected allegations that Pakistani agencies or forces are involved in attacks in Afghanistan. He condemned the occupation of Afghan territory by any group.

Qazi Khalilullah said Islamabad has been helping Kabul in countering terrorism and the development process.

“We are in touch with the Afghan authorities to restore trust level between the two countries,” he added.

He said Pakistan has supported intra Afghan dialogue process and also hosted the first round in Murree. He said if the two sides agreed, Pakistan is ready to facilitate them.
To a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and will not tolerate the presence of Daesh or any of its associated group on our land.

About the Russian airstrikes in Syria, the spokesperson stated that Pakistan has a principled position on the issue based on neutrality, impartiality, and respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria.

Voicing concerns over the violence in Syria, he said the government and the opposition groups should settle their matters peacefully. He maintained that Pakistan stands for peaceful solution of the issue through dialogue led by the Syrian people.

Speaking about Mina tragedy, the spokesperson said all out efforts are being made to locate the 43 missing Pakistani pilgrims. He informed that according to the latest details, 89 Pakistani pilgrims were martyred and five others werewounded in the tragedy.

He reiterated that Saudi authorities extended full cooperation to Pakistan in identification of martyrs and finding of missing pilgrims.

He said Saudi Arabia has been making excellent Hajj arrangements over the last many years and we have full confidence in their abilities to manage this process.


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