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April 19, 2019

Balochistan carnage: Will take appropriate measures if Indian involvement found, says FO

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April 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday pointed fingers towards India as possibly being the force behind the brutal murder of 14 passengers on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, Balochistan, on Thursday. Police said that nearly 20 armed assailants in camouflage carried out the attack. Among those killed were security personnel.

“As far as the incident in Balochistan today, I would like to refer to the arrest of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav from that very area. Currently, investigation into the tragic incident is under way and we are closely monitoring the situation. If we find any involvement from the Indian side, we will definitely raise the issue with India and take appropriate measures,” spokesman at the Foreign Office told the weekly media briefing. He asserted that if the involvement of any foreign hand is found, Pakistan will expose it vociferously, as it has done in the past, and take appropriate counter measures as well.

Meanwhile, commenting for the first time on the recently-held technical-level talks between Pakistan and India on the Kartarpur Corridor, the spokesman said, “The talks were conducted in a cordial environment and focused on various technical issues including hydrology. Both sides agreed to share the technical design/parameters for passage of floodwater at the earliest.”

The Evacuee Trust Board Pakistan is all set to launch a special coin and postal stamp to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. The spokesman did notcomment on the objections that India has raised over the composition of a Pakistani committee approved by the cabinet associated with the corridor. India claimed that there are some members who were leading the Khalistan movement and others who had close links to Hafiz Saeed.

The main meeting to finalise the draft agreement was cancelled over this issue but so far Pakistan does not appear to have made any changes. “In view of paucity of time, we are keen to hold the meeting to finalise the draft agreement at the earliest. The meeting is specifically to discuss differences related to proposals of both countries for operationalising the corridor and to align positions to build convergence. We hope India will agree to hold a meeting at the earliest,” said the spokesman.

Pakistan says that it believes that ever since the Afghan Taliban and the US started face to face talks, prospects for peace in Afghanistan have become ‘brighter’. “Pakistan believes that all sides must give peace a chance and continue the dialogue, which is the only way to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. There is a danger that any increase in hostility has the capacity to derail the peace process”, said the spokesman as all parties ready for a fresh round in Doha this month. To a query about Pakistan not attending the Doha round, he responded, “Let me also clarify that there is no such thing as the Doha process. The last two rounds of talks between the US and Taliban were held in Doha but the earlier round was held in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan has not attended talks in Doha. We have been playing a facilitating role in Afghan peace process and will continue to do so.”

The meeting between Afghans and Taliban, he pointed out, is scheduled to be held in Doha on 19-21 April is a positive development in this regard. “We hope that these talks will lead to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan is doing everything in its capacity to facilitate the peace process, and would keep urging both sides to restrain from active hostility,” he said. As reports of human trafficking between Pakistan and China continue to do the rounds, the spokesman said that concerned departments are investigating the matter. “Pakistan and China are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. We urge media and citizens of both countries to remain vigilant against elements working against the interests of the two countries,” he commented.

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