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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Wednesday gave an in-camera briefing to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Russia which it told to have been conducted on the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a statement issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, it was stated that the meeting chaired by Malik Muhammad Ehsanullah Tiwana was briefed on Prime Minister Khan’s recent visits to China and Russia.

It stated that the committee inquired the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as to whether the visit to Russia was recommended by the Foreign Office or not.

“The ministry told the committee that it was recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it was scheduled way before the Ukraine crisis,” it stated.

It added that the Foreign Office further informed the committee that the visit to Russia was occurring after 23 years of gap, and this visit was very important for the Pakistan with regard to Afghanistan issue, for the Railway project, and import of wheat from Russia.

“The ministry vehemently denied the impression that Pakistan’s visit to Russia was for joining any bloc. Prime Minster of Pakistan has repeatedly informed the nation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also same view that it’s not in favour of joining any bloc,” it further stated.

The committee was also briefed regarding the measures being taken by Pakistan to mitigate the terrorist attacks in future.

The ministry informed the committee that after withdrawal of US from Afghanistan, Daesh has emerged and has gained strong support from the anti-Pakistan elements. “Still, it is question of serious concern for Pakistan that who or what is the source of funding for Daesh,” it added.

Moreover, it added that the ministry told the committee that Afghan government is in close contact with Pakistan. “Afghanistan has repeatedly assured Pakistan that the soil of Afghanistan will not be used against Pakistan or against any country whatsoever,” it added.

Furthermore, the Committee was informed that 48th OIC Conference is going to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan. For the conference, almost 600 delegations are expected to arrive.

“Kashmir is also the part of agenda of the conference. This event will prove to be very important event in the history of Pakistan. The conference is also linked with the 75th anniversary of Pakistan,” it added.

The committee also offered Fateha for the departed souls of ex-president of Pakistan Rafique Tarar and the father of Hina Rabbani Khar, Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Ameer Sultan, Munazza Hassan, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Hina Rabbani Khar, Jamshed Thomas, Muhammad Khan Daha, Zahra Wadood Fatemi, Maiza Hameed, Ali Zahid, Noorul Hassan Tanvir, Numan Islam Sheikh, Abdul Shakoor, Zain Hussain Qureshi, and officials of the Foreign Office.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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