Pakistan will not Partake US-Taliban Talks in Doha

Pakistan will not Partake US-Taliban Talks in Doha

Pakistan will not be a part of the upcoming round of peace talks between Taliban and the United States in Doha this month, the Foreign Office said, on Thursday.

“Pakistan has always supported peace talks in the past and believes that an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned government is the only solution to the Afghan issue,” Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Faisal told a weekly press briefing in Islamabad.

He said Islamabad will continue to play its facilitative role for durable peace in Afghanistan. “Dialogue is a good way of resolving all outstanding conflicts,” he maintained.

The spokesperson said Pakistan is still waiting for an actionable intelligence from the Indian side regarding Pulwama incident that took place in February in Indian-held Kashmir.

He said a set of questions regarding the Pulwama incident has been handed over to the Indian high commission earlier in the day and their response is awaited.

Dr Faisal confirmed that Pakistan has effective intelligence about Indian likely attack in mid-April that is why it was stated by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi publicly.

“Pakistan retaliated Indian aggression with its own strength and without involving any other force on Pulwama incident and any future threats from India will be dealt with the same intensity by Pakistan,” he reaffirmed.

Dr Faisal said Pakistan doesn’t want to affect Indian general election in any sense. “India has always been reluctant to come to the dialogue table because of the reasons only known to Indian side,” he added.

The spokesperson said Pakistan has repeatedly raised Kashmir issue on every international forum including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“We impressed upon the international community to urge India, by all means possible, to immediately halt the human rights atrocities in IHK and seek their help in resolving the Jammu & Kashmir dispute,” he added.

To another question, he said that the status of the occupied valley under Article 370 of the Indian constitution can’t be tempered with as Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan will be visiting Iran soon to discuss bilateral relations with the Iranian leadership.

Separately, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Thursday, told the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that Pakistan is following the policy of de-escalation while at the same time, it stands vigilant to any possible aggression from the Indian side.

The committee was told in a chronological order how the incident and India’s immediate allegation on Pakistan was dealt with by the Foreign Office.

The foreign minister observed that the world has now seen the reality of Indian claims of killing 300 terrorists and shooting down our F-16 jet.

On questions regarding release of Abhinandan and the claims of a second pilot, Qureshi said there should be no misconception about who decided the release of the Indian pilot as it was the prime minister’s decision himself.

He said the initial reports of a second pilot were not true. “Pakistan captured only one Indian pilot, and speculations in the media about capture of an Israeli pilot are fake,” he maintained.

Qureshi also told the committee that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement regarding the outcome of the ongoing elections in India was ‘taken out of context’.

The committee unanimously passed a resolution regarding the proposed amendments in Indian constitution aimed at changing the demographics of the Indian-held Kashmir.

The committee also discussed matters of providing relief to Pakistani people in jails in UAE and other countries.

The committee referred the matters of disrespectful behavior with members of parliament to the privileges committee and at the same time asked the Foreign Office to draft standard operating procedures for dealing with international visits.

The committee recommended setting up a public diplomacy office and providing it a transparently administered fund to improve the diplomacy role of Pakistani missions abroad in promoting country’s image.