FO rejects Afghan allegations



ISLAMABAD: Pakistan strongly rejected on Thursday allegations from Kabul that it was involved in terrorist attacks and insurgent activities on Afghan soil. 
While expressing Islamabad’s disappointment over Afghan allegations, the Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said that Afghanistan has been continuously maligning Pakistan’s national security institutions. 
“We categorically reject Afghan allegations of involvement in terrorist attacks, insurgent activities or cross-border shelling. We also firmly reject any statements casting aspersions on Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism,” said Aslam.
She said that terrorism is a common enemy afflicting entire region and concerted efforts must be made by all sides for combating it effectively. “Levelling baseless allegations serves no purpose. It benefits enemies of peace and undermines prospects of a cordial relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan,” she remarked. 
The FO spokesperson emphasised that the Operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan is a reflection of Pakistan’s resolve to fight terrorism. She said, “It is imperative that necessary steps are taken by the Afghan authorities in blocking fleeing terrorists and eliminating terrorist sanctuaries on Afghan territory.”
She stressed that it is equally essential that effective measures were instituted to strengthen border controls and surveillance. Furthermore, she said that Pakistan remains committed to building friendly and good-neighbourly relations with Afghanistan, based on the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. She hoped that Kabul would reciprocate Islamabad’s policy of restraint and responsibility for constructive engagement.
The spokesperson said on Gaza that PM’s adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, will attend the OIC meeting being held in Jeddah on 12 August 2014. “Aziz’s participation in this meeting will signify Pakistan’s strong political, diplomatic and moral support for the Palestinian people in the face of Israeli aggression and continued occupation of Gaza,” she said.
Tasneem Aslam said that PM Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned Palestinian genocide and reiterated Pakistan’s long-standing support for Palestine. “He announced $1 million for emergency humanitarian assistance for the affected people of Gaza,” the FO spokesperson said.
About the US press reports quoting Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi about discussions on reduction of nuclear stockpiles between Pakistan and India, she said that there were questions about Pakistan-India relations and strategic stability in the region his visit to US. 
“PM’s special assistant has shared with us referred proposals of Pakistan to India of strategic stability. There was no mention of any stock piles,” she said. “He also highlighted steps Pakistan took for safety and security of its nuclear installations and its proposals to India as confidence building for a comprehensive restraint regime in this region,” the spokesperson said.
About the Indian media allegations of a Pakistani diplomat in Colombo involved in spying India and planning attacks in Chennai, she said that it is an effort to create a wedge between Pakistan and Sri Lanka as the two countries have excellent relations with fruitful discussions on strengthening our bilateral relations and increasing economic ties.” 
She termed irresponsible the recent statement of India’s new Army Chief threatening Pakistan of dire consequences of infiltration attempts. On TAPI pipeline project, she said that it was planned for a long time. “Obviously, stability in Afghanistan is one factor in this regard. We do hope that as things stabilise in Afghanistan, the progress on this project will be expedited,” she said.

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