Pakistan

Sartaj Aziz in Kabul to attend regional economic moot

KABUL: Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has been in Kabul to attend the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan.

Aziz will hold meetings with the Afghan leadership and reiterate Pakistan’s support for an intra-Afghanistan dialogue.

He will impress upon the Afghan leaders for the restoration of trust deficit.

Pakistan wants to maintain cordial relations with Afghanistan, sources added.

Foreign Office Briefing

Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah in a briefing has said that in Kabul meetings the Advisor to Prime Minister will raise concerns relating to security of its embassy’s officials in the prevailing charged anti-Pakistan atmosphere in Afghanistan.

He will also stress the need to stop anti-Pakistan campaign that has been visible for sometime in Afghanistan as it will be counter-productive and will not serve the interests of the people of the two countries.

The spokesperson for the Foreign Office confirmed today that Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz was in Kabul to meet with important Afghan officials. These included the President, Foreign Minister and National Security Advisor of Afghanistan.

The spokesman said that the main agenda of the meeting would be to convey the positive feelings of Pakistani people and the government for the Afghan nation and their government. Also, Pakistan was concerned about the anti-Pakistan propaganda campaign which was being promoted at various levels in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s concerns relating to security of its Embassy personnel under the prevailing charged anti-Pakistan atmosphere in Afghanistan and to reiterate the Islamic republic’s commitment towards an Afghan-owned peace process would also be part of the agenda.

In response to the question as to why US National Security Adviser Dr. Susan Rice urged Pakistan to do more and take action against the Haqqani network, the spokesman said that Pakistan did not differentiate between terrorists. He said that for Pakistan, there were no good or bad terrorists. The resounding success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb was testament to the fact that Pakistan had taken action against all terrorists.

The spokesman also brushed aside reports that the meeting between DG Rangers and DG Indian BSF would not take place, owing to recent tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

“As far as I know, the meeting will take place as scheduled,” he said.

In response to another question on Pakistan’s funding regarding Operation Zarb-e-Azb, he said that an amount equivalent to US $1.9 billion had been spent on operation Zarb-e-Azb and return of Temporarily Dislocated Persons. The spokesman added that this whole amount was funded via Pakistan’s own resources.

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