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Sunday June 23, 2024

Pakistan desires cooperative ties with neighbours: FO

“We hope that India will take steps to create an environment conducive for advancement of peace," she said

By Mariana Baabar
June 08, 2024
FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch speaks during her weekly press briefing in this still in Islamabad on February 1, 2024. — Facebook/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad
FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch speaks during her weekly press briefing in this still in Islamabad on February 1, 2024. — Facebook/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday stated that it has always desired cooperative relations with all its neighbours including India.

“We hope that India will take steps to create an environment conducive for advancement of peace and dialogue and resolution of long-standing dispute for the mutual benefit of the peoples of Pakistan and India”, said the spokeswoman at the Foreign Office during the weekly media briefing.

She was responding to the recent elections in India with Prime Minister-elect Modi expected to head the new government and Pakistan’s expectations in this regard.

“We have consistently advocated constructive dialogue and engagement to resolve all outstanding issues, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. However, India’s actions of 5th of August 2019 in IIOJK have vitiated the bilateral environment. We have also observed an increase in vitriolic rhetoric against Pakistan, especially during the recent electoral campaign in India,” she said.

In any case, Pakistan believes, she pointed out, in peaceful coexistence. “We want peace and stability in the region and Pakistan has been acting in a responsible manner, notwithstanding the difficulties and rhetoric coming from India. We hope that India will take steps to create an environment conducive for advancement of peace and dialogue and resolution of long-standing dispute for the mutual benefit of the peoples of Pakistan and India”, she added.

On the electoral process itself, the spokeswoman said it was the right of the people of India to decide about their own leadership.

“We do not have any comments on their electoral process. Regarding your first question, (on Pakistan congratulating Modi), I think this question is premature”, she said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will participate in the meeting of the regional contact group for Afghanistan to be held in Tehran on Saturday. “Pakistan’s Special Representative on Afghanistan, Ambassador Asif Durrani, will attend the quadrilateral meeting being held in Iran. It is important for the regional countries, especially the neighbours of Afghanistan, to consult and work together for ensuring peace, stability and security in Afghanistan, to ensure that Afghanistan is not a source of terrorism in the region,” she responded.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar will undertake a one-day visit to Istanbul, Türkiye to attend the Extraordinary Meeting of the D-8 Council of Foreign Ministers.

The meeting is being held to discuss the “Situation in Gaza” at the initiative of the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Türkiye Hakan Fidan. The spokeswoman refuted reports that Pakistan was not granting visas to Afghans.

“Our missions process all applications, which are submitted, according to set procedures and decisions are taken with regard to issuance of visas according to Pakistani laws and regulations. And that is the case with our embassy in Afghanistan as well. So, they process any applications that come according to Pakistani laws and grant visas in light of the available guidelines”, she responded.

Clarifying the situation on the Chaman border, she pointed out that Pakistan has said repeatedly that the movement of individuals across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan should take place on the basis of valid visa and valid passport. “That is the case of Pakistan’s visa arrangements with our other neighbours, and we believe that time has come for Pakistan and Afghanistan to have a similar arrangement. Any individual who wishes to travel to Pakistan should come here on valid visa and a genuine, valid Afghan passport”, she said.