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Coronavirus
LOW
Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,793
924hr
Pakistan Cases
1,287,703
31024hr
Sindh
477,119
Punjab
443,610
Balochistan
33,514
Islamabad
107,989
KPK
180,471

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday reacted sharply to the United States’ decision of putting a number of Pakistani and Chinese entities to its trade blacklist allegedly for contributing to Islamabad’s nuclear activities and ballistic missile programme, saying that the country’s nuclear facilities are totally safeguarded and it does not accept any insinuation in this regard.

Pakistan’s initial response to the recent update in the US Commerce Department’s Entity List comes at a weekly media briefing by Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar, who also stated that a formal response would be given after the ongoing “review” is done.

“We have seen the reports. At this stage, I can say that we are reviewing it and we will be offering our formal response to it. But let me state that Pakistan’s nuclear facilities and programme are totally safeguarded and we do not accept any insinuations regarding our nuclear programme,” he added.

On Wednesday, the US added a total of 27 new entities to its trade black list from China, Japan, Pakistan, and Singapore. The US Commerce Department also stated that several entities and individuals from China and Pakistan were added to the Commerce Department’s Entity List allegedly for contributing to Pakistan’s nuclear activities or ballistic missile programme, including quantum computing companies, semiconductor firms and Chinese businesses that have contributed “to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities”.

Responding to a question about the unfrozen accounts of Afghanistan, he said that it has been raised and discussed on various occasions and fora. “It remains an important issue. Pakistan and other countries have been saying that it needs to be considered as a way of supporting the Afghan people who are faced with immense challenges. That remains our expectation,” he added.

He said that Pakistan also called upon the international community to generously contribute to help face the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. He said that the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is quite big, which has been realised by the international community as the United Nations and various countries are coming forward to provide the required assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

He said that Pakistan is part of that international effort and it will continue to do the maximum extent to facilitate Afghan citizens. He said Pakistan has pledged humanitarian assistance worth Rs5 billion. He said that Pakistan has also acceded to Afghan people’s request to let the humanitarian assistance offered by India to pass through Wagah border.

Replying to a question regarding progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that both countries are committed to a clean and green vision of the CPEC, which is being translated into reality through projects such as Karot Hydropower, which will improve Pakistan’s access to clean, low cost, and sustainable energy.

“We congratulate the relevant enterprises on achieving this important milestone despite the challenging nature of the project and difficulties represented by the Covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to the timely completion of Karot and all other CPEC projects, demonstrating the abiding commitment of Pakistan and China to realising the full potential of this transformative undertaking and giving play to its role in actualising Pakistan’s geo-economics vision,” he added.

As a flagship of the Belt and Road Initiative, he added that CPEC is an embodiment of win-win cooperation under the Pakistan-China “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” with the underlying principles of wide-ranging consultations, joint contribution and shared benefits.

About the reported demands put forward by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) such as an end to merger of the tribal districts with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and enforcement of Sharia laws in the country, the spokesperson expressed his inability to offer any comment, but stated that “some of their demands are ridiculous and not acceptable.”

When his comments were sought on President Dr Arif Alvi’s recent statement, in which, he had supported Syrian government in its fight against terrorism, the spokesperson reiterated by saying that Pakistan supports Syria’s efforts against terrorism.

“Pakistan desires to promote relations with Syria and would like to see peace and stability there,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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