Dialogue is the right way forward, says Pakistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan. — AFP/File
  • “We continue to follow developments in Ukraine. I think dialogue is the right way forward,” said the FO spokesperson.
  • Asim Iftikhar said preparations for Prime Minister Imran’s visit to Moscow were underway and more details would be shared later.
  • Said FO remains in close contact with the Pakistani community, especially students in Ukraine.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday advised the international community to engage in dialogue to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, days ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s historic visit to Russia.

In a weekly press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar said: “We continue to follow developments (in Ukraine) closely. I think (engagement and dialogue) is the right way forward.”

The spokesman avoided commenting on the exact dates of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s departure for Moscow; however, he confirmed that the visit at the invitation of the Russian Federation is scheduled for next week.

“Preparations are underway and we will officially share more details later today. Pakistan attaches great importance to its multiple and strong relations with Russia,” he reiterated.

Read more: Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Moscow this month, FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi says

Speaking about the Pakistani community in Ukraine, he said the Foreign Ministry remains in close contact with the community, especially students.

“They take care of their well-being and also provide them with the necessary advice and guidance taking into account the development of the situation,” he said.

“Pakistan calls on India to renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy”

The Indian Chargé d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Friday to convey Pakistan’s strong protest that despite 15 years, India has yet to bring the terrorists behind the attack to justice. terrorist attack of 18/2 in Samjhauta.

“We expressed our concern that the Hindutva extremism and ‘saffron terror’ that motivated the inhumane attack 15 years ago has intensified under the current regime in India,” he said. he declares.

Pakistan believes, he stressed, that it is not a matter of lack of information or evidence, it is a matter of lack of commitment to due process and political will on the part of the Indian government.

“It is apparent from the way the trial was conducted and you are well aware of the shameless manner in which they acquitted the defendants including Swami Aseemanand who publicly confessed to being the mastermind of the attack,” the doorman said. -word.

The Indian diplomat was urged to let his government know that it was best to end state patronage of terrorism and bring the terrorists behind the Samjhauta Express attacks to justice.

He said, “Pakistan also calls on India to renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy and to abide faithfully by its obligations under the international legal regime governing terrorism.”

It is pertinent to mention here that February 18 marks 15 years of the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express train explosions which resulted in the tragic deaths of 68 passengers, including 44 Pakistani nationals.

“To this day, our hearts mourn their untimely demise. It is extremely regrettable that despite the availability of clear evidence, the families of the victims of the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack continue to wait for justice to be served,” the doorman said. -word.

India’s continued failure, he said, to bring justice to the victims of this horrific terrorist attack is a reconfirmation of the culture of impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of terrorist attacks in India.

“The families of the victims look forward to the day when the terrorists responsible for the cold-blooded attack will be apprehended and faced to the full force of the law. However, the reality of India today is awash with injustice, inequality and state terrorism rampant unabashedly,” he pointed out.

The act prohibiting Muslim students from wearing the hijab condemned

The FO has again expressed deep concern and condemned what it called a “wrongdoing” of banning female Muslim students from wearing the hijab (headscarf) in the Indian state of Karnataka.

“In this context, on February 9, the Indian Charge d’Affaires was approached and asked to convey to the Government of India Pakistan’s deep concern over the anti-hijab campaign, led by the RSS-BJP union in Karnataka, which is part of its broader agenda of exclusion and majority to dehumanize and demonize Muslim women,” he recalled.

Read more: Terrorizing women for wearing hijab is absolutely oppressive, says Shah Mahmood Qureshi

“Terrorism in an international phenomenon”

Responding to questions about cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan, India and Iran, the spokesperson said Pakistan had repeatedly stated that it was “our consistent policy and position that terrorism is an international phenomenon.

“This is a problem faced by many countries around the world. Pakistan is one of them,” he said.

Pakistan has been one of the greatest victims of terrorism over the years.

“We have faced terrorism head-on and we are very determined, as you have seen in the past, to confront this threat with great courage, sacrifice and success.

“I can assure you that all necessary measures that are required are being taken by the government of Pakistan regarding the prevention of terrorist threat, including that from across borders, and those involved like India,” he added.

The spokesperson was of the view that there is a history of terrorists with foreign support and “we are fully aware that we will take all necessary measures to put an end to this cross-border terrorism.”

He affirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also in contact with the authorities of the Afghan interim government.

Visit of the Iranian Minister

Responding to questions regarding Iranian involvement hence recent terrorist attacks in Balochistan and the arrests of 13 people in Karachi with links to Iran, and whether this was raised with the Iranian Minister of visiting Interior, the spokesman replied in the affirmative.

“The Iranian Interior Minister’s visit had a broad agenda, there were useful consultations, high-level meetings and I think this was part of the ongoing very constructive and fruitful dialogue and engagement. of Pakistan with Iran.

Read more: Iranian Interior Minister arrives in Pakistan for one-day visit

“We will continue this engagement with Iran, including in relevant mechanisms, as Iran is a close friend and partner of Pakistan,” the spokesperson explained.

However, he was quick to add that Pakistan has been one of the biggest victims of terrorism over the years.

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