Spokesperson informs weekly press briefing Islamabad remains concerned that defense deals between India, U.S. may destabilize region
Pakistan has played a significant role in facilitating the peace and reconciliation process between Kabul and the Taliban, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said on Thursday.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, Farooqui said Islamabad welcomed the peace deal to be signed between the U.S. and the Taliban in Qatar on Saturday. She said Pakistan hoped this would pave the way for intra-Afghan dialogue, and was eager to see this historic opportunity availed by all Afghan parties to ensure Afghanistan continued to proceed toward peace and stability.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi would represent Pakistan at the peace deal signing ceremony, she added.
To questions about this week’s violence against Muslims in Indian capital New Delhi, the spokesperson noted that not only the Pakistani leadership, but several members of the international community had also raised their concerns about the unrest, which has included desecration of mosques and left at least 30 people dead. “The state oppression that the people of Kashmir have been suffering for decades at the hands of Indian authorities has now found its way in the Indian capital,” she said.
Referring to an offer by U.S. President Donald Trump to mediate peace between Pakistan and India, Farooqui said Islamabad welcomed this proposal. She noted that the U.S. president had lauded Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism during his visit to neighboring India, adding that this was clear evidence of the upwards trajectory in Pakistan-U.S. relations. “There is now increasing awareness in the world that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute is key for peace and stability in the South Asian region,” she added.
Despite the bonhomie, Farooqui noted that Pakistan remained concerned about defense deals between the U.S. and India, especially Washington’s sale of a sophisticated weapons system to New Delhi. “This risks further destabilizing our already volatile region,” she said, adding that Pakistan has repeatedly alerted the international community about India’s aggressive designs toward Pakistan and other countries in South Asia.
Farooqui said Pakistan had been the victim of state terrorism emanating from its eastern border. Our concerns in this regard have been shared with the international community, she added.
The Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan is actively engaged with the Government of Iran to prevent the spread of coronavirus. She said Islamabad fully supports the efforts of Iranian authorities in managing the outbreak of the virus. “We stand in solidarity with them,” she added.
Farooqui said Pakistan’s embassy and consulates in Iran were on alert and were monitoring the evolving situation closely while also reaching out to the Pakistani community based there. Helplines had been established at the embassy and the consulates to provide necessary updates and assistance to the expatriate community, she added.
Farooqui also confirmed that both Beijing and Islamabad are working to finalize dates for a visit to Pakistan by Chinese President Xi Jinping.