‘Pakistan, NATO agreed on better coordination’
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said on Tuesday that Pakistan had clearly stated that North Atlantic Treaty Oraganisation (NATO) forces were not allowed to conduct operations in Pakistan and only Pakistani security forces could do so, and that NATO had agreed to improve coordination with Pakistan.
She told PTV that Pakistan had never compromised on its nuclear programme and would never take a decision against its national interests. She said that Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri’s visit to the United States (US) had been successful, and that Kasuri had met US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and other high US officials. She said that Kasuri had also addressed a think tank in Washington and the Pakistani community.
She said that US Undersecretary of State Richard Boucher’s recent visit to Pakistan was part of US officials’ visits to Pakistan and was not unusual, adding that the US was not interfering in the internal affairs of Pakistan.
She said that the relations between the US and Pakistan had witnessed ups and downs but efforts were underway to establish a long-term partnership. She said that no one had the right to criticise Pakistan on its decision to fence of the border with Afghanistan since it was aimed at stopping the movement of terrorists and smugglers.
She said that Afghanistan had reservations about refugee camps along the border because the Taliban had been known to live there in disguise. Tasneem said that Pakistan had always provided transit facilities to Afghanistan and had offered the use of Karachi Port to India for trading with Afghanistan. She said that the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline was a very important agreement because Pakistan was short of energy.
She said that control of drug trafficking and terrorism had been discussed in the meetings that began on Tuesday in New Delhi, along with prisoners and visa policies. She said that Pakistan had told India in the past that Pakistan had no prisoners of war but families of those missing were welcome to visit jails in Pakistan if so inclined. She said that the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) had been contacted in regard to Salman Rushdie’s knighthood but no positive response had been received. online