ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office, on Thursday, dispelled the impression that Pakistan-US relations may deteriorate following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s hard-hitting speech in the parliament, saying Islamabad will continue to cooperate with Washington and the international community towards durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. Speaking at his weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri also reiterated Pakistan’s desire to have enhanced cooperative bilateral relations with the US, focusing trade and economy.

“Pakistan has worked closely with the United States to achieve durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. We will continue to cooperate with the US and the international community towards that end,” he said, adding that Pakistan will continue to play a constructive role in the Afghan peace process.

He said that Pakistan hopes that the Afghan peace process succeeds and the Afghan parties agree to a common solution, which is inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive, adding that there is no military solution to the conflict.

To a question about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement that Pakistan is being pressured to downgrade its ties with China, the spokesperson said that Pakistan enjoys excellent relations with China and the relationship is all weather and time tested.

At the same time, the spokesperson added that the prime minister has stated that Pakistan wants cooperative relations with the US, focusing economic growth.

In response to a question about Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent statement in Capitol Hill, the spokesperson advised the Afghan leadership that constructive efforts should be made and to spend all energy on making the peace process successful, instead of indulging in blame game.

He said that the statements that are against the spirit of mutual cooperation would not be helpful for any side.

To another query about the Sea Breeze naval exercise in which Pakistan and Israel are among the over 40 countries participating, he said that Pakistan is participating as an observer in the naval exercise hosted by Ukraine keeping in perspective defence ties with the host.

He recalled that Ukraine also participated in Aman 2021 exercise hosted by Pakistan Navy.

However, he made it clear that there is no change in Pakistan's principled position on Palestinian issue.

“We have consistently called for [a] two state solution with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds al Sharif as a capital of Palestinian state,” he said.

About the Indian authorities’ statements with regard to the alleged drone operation by Pakistan in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson termed the statements as irresponsible and urged the Indian government to refrain from its reprehensible propaganda campaign as no amount of Indian falsehoods can succeed in diverting attention from India’s serious crimes in the IIOJK.

Referring to the situation in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he welcomed the UN secretary general's recent report, which highlights the indiscriminate targeting of Kashmiris with pellet guns in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He called upon the international community to take cognizance of the plight of the oppressed Kashmiri children.

He said the meeting held in New Delhi last week was yet another attempt by the BJP government to further marginalise the Kashmiri people to perpetuate India's illegal occupation in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the meeting also further exposed the falsehood of the Indian narrative of so-called normalcy in the occupied valley.

The spokesperson said any steps that are aimed at bringing further illegal change in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir will not be accepted by the Kashmiris and will also be resolutely opposed by Pakistan.

He said the only viable option is the solution of Kashmir dispute as per the UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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