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January 25, 2020

Japan–India joint statement: Pakistan, Japan mending fences

National

January 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Japan on Friday at the Foreign Office reaffirmed the strength of their bilateral relationship and renewed their commitment to taking this long-standing partnership to a higher level.

“The 12th Round of Pakistan-Japan Bilateral Political Consultations led by Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, and Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenji Kanasugi provided an important platform to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations,” said the Foreign Office.

Friday’s meeting was an important step in fence mending after Pakistan in November had raised strong objections to a Japan – India joint statement which had categorically stated that “threat posed to regional security by terrorist networks operating out of Pakistan and called upon it to take resolute and irreversible action against them and fully comply with international commitments including to FATF”.

The Foreign Office had rejected the statement and expressed serious concerns saying, “India’s animus towards Pakistan and its smear campaign in the context of alleged ‘cross-border terrorism’ is well-known to the world. Among other things, these are part of a longstanding design to divert the world’s attention from India’s illegal actions and gross and systematic violations of human rights in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.

Pakistan at the time had asked Japan as a partner country to take an objective and balanced view of the issues of peace and security in South Asia and refrain from endorsing positions that are one-sided and divorced from ground realities.

Friday saw both sides expressing satisfaction over the current trajectory of bilateral relations and affirmed their commitment to deepen mutual cooperation in diverse areas.

The foreign secretary updated the Japanese side on the negative consequences of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, the continuing human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K).

“The foreign secretary pointed to the importance of the world community playing its role in averting threat to peace and security and ensuring a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute”, added the Foreign Office.

The talks focused on ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, people-to-people contacts, human resource development, science & technology, culture and education.

“The foreign secretary briefed the Japanese side on recent positive developments in Pakistan including macroeconomic stability, upgraded credit ratings, improved business climate, enhanced rankings on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index, new opportunities for investment, and tourism potential”, said the statement.

The two sides expressed satisfaction over the intensified level of political engagement, including the visit of Dr. Arif Alvi to Tokyo to attend enthronement ceremony of His Majesty the Emperor, and looked forward to further exchanges at the highest level.

Views were also exchanged on global and regional developments. The Foreign Secretary briefed on Pakistan’s steadfast support for peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

The foreign secretary further apprised the Japanese side of Pakistan’s perspective on defusing tensions in the Middle East/Gulf region and supporting all efforts for a political and diplomatic solution.

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