FO condemns attack on TV anchor, calls Indian criticism baseless

Tasnim says election in Indian-held Kashmir not alternative to right to self-determination

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam on Thursday termed Indian criticism on its institutions as baseless and said those involved in this propaganda should first look into their internal matters.

In her weekly media briefing, she said negative reporting in connection with Hamid Mir's episode was done, which does not surprise Pakistan. She condemned attack on Hamid Mir and prayed for his speedy recovery. On polling in Indian-held Kashmir, the spokesperson said this election cannot be the alternative of Kashmiris' right to self-determination.

She said cooperation between Iran and India regarding energy was their bilateral matter. On Pakistan-Iran energy cooperation, particularly import of electricity, Tasnim said that the international sanctions do not hurt this agreement as purchase of electricity from Iran was government-to-government agreement.

Regarding Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, she rejected the impression about termination of the project and said there were funding issues. About sanctions on this project, she said that the building of extensive infrastructure and international financing take it to a category where international sanctions were applicable.

Responding to a question about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Iran, the spokesperson said it would take place before 15th of the next month. She said process of meetings between both the countries officials was in progress in order to make the visit substantial. She said the visit of Iranian Foreign Affairs minister was not on cards, while the Interior Affairs minister will visit Pakistan soon.

About the visit of US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan James Dobbins, the spokesperson said he would be holding meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz, Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Interior Affairs minister and army chief.

She also said that the Pakistan Embassy in Washington during the past few months has extensively engaged James Dobbins. Tasnim said that Dobbins will be sharing views with Pakistani leaders on matters of regional security, Afghanistan and the bilateral ties.

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