Monday July 22, 2024

Kabul asked to act against terror groups threatening Pakistan

Pakistan has always said it will defend itself against any threat to its security and sovereignty

By Mariana Baabar
May 18, 2024
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs building can be seen. — APP/File
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs building can be seen. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, but at the same time it stands ready to defend itself against any threat to its security and sovereignty.

It was stated by Foreign Office spokeswoman at the media briefing in response to queries about militant attacks from Afghanistan.

“Our armed forces and our security forces are ready to defend the territory and people of Pakistan from any threat that affects or endangers our security. Pakistan has conveyed its deepest concerns about the situation and urges the Afghan authorities to ensure the soil of Afghanistan is not used to threaten Pakistan’s security”, she said.

Afghanistan was also told to take effective action against terror groups that continue to threaten Pakistan, Pakistani public and law enforcement and security officials, she added.

Pakistan has always said it will defend itself against any threat to its security and sovereignty, including from terror groups that threaten Pakistan’s security, she said.

When asked who was supporting terrorism from Afghanistan, she said she did not want to enter into a speculative or analytic exercise. Pakistan’s position with respect to its relations with Afghanistan is clear, she said.

“We have centuries-old links with people of Afghanistan. We would like to continue to work for peace, security and development of Afghanistan in consultation with Afghan authorities”, she said.

Pakistan hopes reassurances the Afghan interim authorities have given to international community will be upheld and Afghan soil will not be used to project terrorism against any country including Pakistan, she added.

The spokeswoman stayed clear of recent agreement between Iran and India on the use of Chabahar port, saying Pakistan does not comment on relationships of other countries. “With regards to the reaction by any third country on a bilateral agreement that has been signed between Iran and India, Pakistan does not have any comments since this issue does not pertain to Pakistan”, she responded.

She said during the recent visit of President of Iran, several substantive agreements and understandings were reached. These included decision by the two sides to further strengthen connectivity. “Pakistan will continue to work with Iran to further enhance coordination and understanding with respect to connectivity, including the sister port relationship between Gwadar and Chahbahar”, she said.

To a query about Indian statements regarding recent violent protests in Azad Kashmir, the spokeswoman said historical facts, legal principles, moral considerations and ground realities refute India’s baseless claims and Jammu and Kashmir remains an internationally-recognised disputed territory. UN Security Council resolutions clearly mandate a plebiscite under auspices of the United Nations, she said.

“We believe that no amount of inflated Indian statements can change this reality”, she said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar will lead Pakistan delegation to the meeting of SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) from May 20-21 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Foreign Minister will also hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the CFM meeting.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye Hakan Fidan will visit Pakistan on May 19-20. He will hold delegation-level talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ishaq Dar. They will review the state of bilateral cooperation and take stock of preparations for the 7th session of High-Level Strategic Coordination Council (HLSCC) between Pakistan and Türkiye.

Fidan will also call on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as well as Speaker of National Assembly and Chairman Senate. Foreign Minister Fidan’s visit would further consolidate cooperation between the two countries, said the spokeswoman.

Secretary General of SAARC, Mohammad Golam Sarwar, will visit Pakistan from May 20-24 this month. This will be his maiden visit to Pakistan, as it is customary for a new Secretary General to pay introductory visits to all member states.

Golam Sarwar will call on senior leadership of Pakistan, and interact with intelligentsia and business community. He is also scheduled to visit the SAARC bodies based in Islamabad. As a founding member, Pakistan attaches great importance to SAARC and remains committed to principles and objectives of its Charter.