Pakistan reiterates support to Afghan peace process

Pakistan reiterates support to Afghan peace process

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday reiterated its support for Afghan-led peace process and said that dialogue process between Afghan Taliban and government was an internal matter of Afghanistan.
Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, at a weekly news briefing, said Pakistan always supported peace process led by Afghan and would continue to do so in the future.  
To a question about sending troops to Saudi Arabia, the spokesperson rejected such reports, adding that no such proposal was discussed during the recent visit of Saudi crown prince to Pakistan. She said there is no veracity in reports about sending Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia.
Explaining the importance of defending Pakistan’s eastern and western border by 600,000 troops, she said that in this situation it is not possible to send 100,000 military troops to Saudi Arabia.
Replying to a question about intra-Kashmir trade, she said Pakistan and India have agreed to resume across Line of Control trade. She said Pakistan and India are going to hold a meeting of working group on trade by the end of this month to further streamline trade across LoC and discuss various proposals for smooth flow of trade.
Regarding Pakistan’s position on Syria, Tasnim Aslam said there is no change in Pakistan’s position on this issue. She explained that Pakistan is following Geneva talks on Syria issue which is being done by United Nations and Pakistan wants peaceful solution to Syrian crisis and wants to see end to the violence.
On the issue of Pakistan-Iran ties, the spokesperson said both the countries enjoy deep rooted fraternal, historic and cultural ties and these relations could not be derailed due to a single incident.
She said viewing Pakistan-Iran ties through the prism of few incidents is not appropriate.
The spokesperson said both the countries are deliberating on Pakistan-Iran border issues in the ongoing meetings of Border Commission which is underway in Pakistan. The chief secretary of Balochistan is representing Pakistan while Sistan province deputy governor is representing Iran along with other security officials in this meeting which started on Wednesday and continued on Thursday to resolve the issue.
She said, “All those elements who are trying to disturb our ties will be dealt with in a co-ordinated manner.”
Pakistan has been taking measures against those elements involved in human trafficking, smuggling and terrorism activities near Pak-Iran border, she added. 
Answering a question on Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan and Iran need to re-negotiate on the timeline of gas pipeline project which is delayed due to financial constraints.
The spokesperson said Senate Chairman Nayyer Hussain Bukhari is visiting Iran and Iranian leadership has also extended invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit the country.
Replying to a question, she said that all the partners of CASA-1000 Project have agreed for the project but it will take some time as it will be started after stabilisation of the situation in Afghanistan. She said the project is important to meet the energy crisis in Pakistan.
She also said that the Bangladeshi government has assured Pakistan of full security to its cricket team.
She said that as Pakistan’s cricket team is proceeding to Bangladesh as defending champion and Bangladesh has assured it of full security.

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