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May 15, 2019

US-Iran tension: Pakistan not to join any camp, says Qureshi

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May 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday expressed concern over the mounting tension between Iran and the United States but made it clear that Pakistan will not join any camp in this regard.

Talking to reporters here after attending a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that met with Ehsanullah Tiwana in the chair, he said Pakistan was closely monitoring the situation and will formulate a strategy keeping in view its national interest.

He said Pakistan wanted to make progress on the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project but the US sanctions on Iran were hindering it from going ahead with the project.

He said Pakistan was also discussing this issue with Iran.

He said Pakistan and China were reviewing the matter of human smuggling and an effective policy will be framed in this regard. He said some forces wants to affect Pakistan-China relations.

Earlier briefing the standing committee, he dispelled news about the US visa restrictions on the Pakistani officials and said the US was sending back detained illegal Pakistanis by a special chartered plane.

“The US has not imposed any restriction and its embassy has released a press release in this regard,” he said.

He further said the US had detained illegal Pakistanis that they want to send back.

“The United States is going to deport over seventy illegal Pakistanis. Islamabad has asked the United States to fulfil all legal requirements about the Pakistanis being deported. These Pakistanis will return [to the country] by a special charter plane tomorrow,” he said.

He said the US had banned visit visas for three officials due to some reasons. The officials include joint secretary, additional secretary interior and DG passport.

“This restriction is not on Pakistan and a clarification in this regard has been issued by both the sides,” he said.

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