ISLAMABAD: After the deadly explosion at the Police Lines Masjid in the secure Red Zone of Peshawar, Pakistan turned to the interim government in Afghanistan on Thursday and called for sincerest...
ISLAMABAD: After the deadly explosion at the Police Lines Masjid in the secure Red Zone of Peshawar, Pakistan turned to the interim government in Afghanistan on Thursday and called for sincerest cooperation to address the challenge of terrorism that Islamabad continues to face.
Pakistan sent a strong message to Kabul and clearly told it that it was time the commitments made to the world and Pakistan were fulfilled with sincerity and in good faith with concrete actions.
“Pakistan expects sincere cooperation from the interim Afghan government to address the challenge of terrorism and hopes that Kabul would live up to the commitments made to the international community in this regard. We take loss of innocent lives very seriously and would expect our neighbours to do the same,” said the spokesperson at the Foreign Office during the weekly media briefing.
Terrorism, she underlined, was a common threat to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. “We must take a strong stance against entities that use violence against innocent citizens and law enforcement agencies,” she added.
Her remarks are also being seen in the context of a harsh statement from the Afghan foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, released by the Afghan Foreign Office after the terrorist attack in Peshawar, in which he said, “There is no terrorist base in Afghanistan and the county’s soil will not be used against other countries. We ask Pakistan’s ministers to not throw the snow of their own roofs onto the roofs of others. They should consider their problems in their own country. We advise them to look into the Peshawar explosion in great detail.”
The FO spokesperson maintained, “We remain firm in our resolve to root out the Amir Khan Muttaqi, released by the Afghan Foreign Office after the terrorist attack in Peshawar, in which he said, “There is no terrorist base in Afghanistan and the county’s soil will not be used against other countries. We ask Pakistan’s ministers to not throw the snow of their own roofs onto the roofs of others. They should consider their problems in their own country. We advise them to look into the Peshawar explosion in great detail.”
The FO spokesperson maintained, “We remain firm in our resolve to root out the evil of terrorism and safeguard the security of every citizen. We do not believe in accusations or finger pointing; however, we would reiterate our expectation that no country would allow its territory to be used for perpetrating terrorism against Pakistan. It is time the commitments made to the world and Pakistan are fulfilled with sincerity and in good faith with concrete actions.”
The spokesperson was asked to comment on a controversial statement made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Munir Akram who said that ban on education of women in Afghanistan is a cultural matter. His video went viral on social media as voices from every corner of the world specifically Pakhtuns contradicted his claims.
“We have sought details of the statement and the context in which it may have been made. As far as our policy is concerned, Pakistan is a country that accords equal status to women. It also respects its commitments under international agreements and conventions, including its obligations under international human rights covenants. We believe that Islam grants equal access to education and women rights and we have spoken publicly about the importance of girls’ education and their participation in public life. We have also said that the enterprising and innovative Afghan women should not be deprived of their rights to progress and to follow their dreams,” she said.
According to Radio Pakistan, Munir Akram announced that on March 8 a conference will be convened in New York, hosted by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, on the issue of women in Islam. It will convey the standards and freedoms and rights that women enjoy under Islam.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is currently in Washington, DC, from 1-3 February 2023 to attend the National Prayer Breakfast which brings together US and international leaders for a discourse on contemporary issues. The foreign minister will be a keynote speaker at the event where he will speak about the ‘Role of Faith in the Future and Sustainability of Democracy’.
“Yesterday, he addressed the annual gathering of the White House Fellows and Congressional Staff. He has held meetings with Administration officials, Councillor State Department Derek Chollet and Executive Director of the World Food Programme. The foreign minister returns home tomorrow,” she added.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will undertake a visit to Colombo on 3-4 February 2023 to participate in the 75th Independence Day of Sri Lanka as a Guest of Honour. In addition to attending the Independence Day events, she will call on the Sri Lankan leadership and hold a meeting with the foreign minister of Sri Lanka.
The Kashmir Solidarity Day will be observed on 5th of February 2023. Like every year, the Pakistani nation will express its unwavering solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their just struggle for realisation of their right to self-determination. The day will be observed with traditional zeal and fervour by all sections of society in Pakistan and by the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora around the world.
“Pakistan will continue to extend all possible support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters towards a just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.”
Responding to a letter to Pakistan written by India with regards to the amendment in the Indus Waters Treaty under Article 12(3) of the Indus Waters Treaty, the spokesperson responded, “Let me reiterate what I said earlier that Pakistan would not like to indulge in commentary on media reports regarding the Indus Waters Treaty. We have just concluded the proceedings of the Court of Arbitration in The Hague, where Pakistan’s viewpoint was presented. It is a legal case under the Indus Waters Treaty and our objections to the Ratle and Kishenganga hydroelectric projects.”