Business Recorder
Pakistan again invites India for meaningful talks

Pakistan again invites India for meaningful talks


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday again invited India for meaningful, sustainable and constructive dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues, especially Kashmir dispute, through constructive engagement, saying hostility and escalation benefits none.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, while responding media queries during his weekly briefing, said that there is nothing on the table as yet about any engagement between Pakistan and India in the upcoming SCO Summit to be held in the capital of Kazakhstan on June 8-9.

“There is nothing on the table yet as SCO Summit is almost two months away. Nevertheless, we have consistently maintained that meaningful, result-oriented dialogue, sustainable and constructive engagement to address all outstanding issues, particularly Kashmir dispute, is the only way forward,” he said, adding hostility and escalation benefits none.

To a question about the Indian government summing of Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner in New Delhi on the issue of Kulbhushan Jhadav, he said that the deputy high commissioner was summoned to convey reaction.

“But this is not something new they [Indians] did, it was a reaction after award of the death sentence to the Commander Kulbhushan, who is a spy and has made confessions that he was involved in terror financing, subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan, besides being a spy and indulging in espionage,” he said.

On the India’s request for the consular access to Jhadav, he said, “Pakistan has said this earlier also that we have bilateral agreement on consular access and according to Art IV, in all such cases as the one of Kulbhushan the request of this nature would be decided on the basis of merits.”

He further said that Jhadev was tried according to the law of the land in a fully transparent manner while preserving his rights, as per the Constitution of Pakistan, adding his sentence is based on credible, specific evidence proving his involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan, resulting in the loss of scores of precious lives of Pakistanis.

“The reaction from India, especially withholding the release of Pakistani prisoners who have completed their sentences, for a spy and terrorist working against Pakistan’s national interests, is disappointing,” he said, adding inflammatory statements emanating from India are against international norms and will only result in escalation, serving no constructive purpose.

He emphasised that Indian reaction should be seen in the backdrop of exposure of its state involvement in perpetrating subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Commenting on the Indian forces’ brutalities against Kashmiri youth, he said that the popular and indigenous demand for their right to self-determination has further intensified in wake of brutalities unleashed by the Indian occupation forces.

He said that hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris have thronged streets in the Indian occupied Kashmir, peacefully demanding their inalienable right to self-determination.

“The Indian occupation forces have been using live ammunition and pellet guns against the protesters, as a result of which more than 200 civilians have been killed so far, and around 20,000 got injured,” he said, adding Pakistan strongly condemns the Indian barbarities in IoK and calls upon the international community, including the UN, to take immediate notice of the gross human rights violations.

To another question about terrorists taking refuge in Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan has been stating that there are hideouts of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan from where they continue to launch attacks on Pakistan. “We have urged the Afghan government to take action against these terrorists,” he added.

About the outcome of the Moscow talks, he said that it was about the situation in Afghanistan, and 11 countries participated in the talks including Afghanistan. He said that there was a consensus that all participating countries were concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, particularly the growing presence of terrorist outfits, including Daesh in Afghanistan, and its implications on regional peace and stability.

He said that the participating countries discussed that there is urgent need to deal with the security situation in Afghanistan. The outcome was a common concern and understanding as to how the situation in Afghanistan should be dealt with,” he added.

To another query, Zakaria insisted that there is no organised presence of Daesh in Pakistan. As far as the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan is concerned, he said it has been confirmed by the UN and US Commander John Nicholson in their recent reports.

“This is a matter of growing concern for many countries in the region, and has been a central issue at the recent meeting on Afghanistan in Moscow. There is a common concern that Daesh and other terrorist outfits are coming together and gaining foothold in Afghanistan and endangering regional peace and stability,” he said, adding regional countries are mindful and considering ways to tackle the issue.

The spokesperson also declined to comment on a question when his comments were sought whether Pakistan has changed its principled stance not to send its ground troops without the mandate of the UN after appearing reports that 5,000 Pakistani troops will be deployed on Saudi border along Yemen, saying, “This is a media report and does not warrant any response.”

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