Pakistan

FO deplores Gen Nicholson’s statement about Taliban shuras in Pakistan

Nafees Zakaria

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday rejected the recent statements by Commander of United States (US) Forces and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan General John Nicholson.

Calling Gen John Nicholson’s statements unacceptable and unnecessary, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria addressed several issues with regard to the region and Pakistan’s foreign relations.

Deploring terrorist incidents in Afghanistan, Zakaria asserted: “Afghanistan’s war cannot be fought in Pakistan.”

He said that a conference of envoys under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be held from September 5 to 7, adding that no high-level contact was established between the US and Pakistan.

“At the moment Pakistan’s foreign policy is facing multiple challenges,” he remarked.

On India-occupied Kashmir (IoK), the FO spokesperson said that Indian forces are conducting atrocities in IoK. “Pakistan is concerned about arrests of Hurriyat leaders by Indian forces,” he added.

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Zakaria also expressed concerns over hurricane ‘Harvey’ which hit Texas and Houston in the US recently. “Pakistan Consul General is actively involved in relief and rescue activities in the affected areas besides Pakistani community residing in US,” he futher said.

Earlier, the commander of US Forces and NATO in Afghanistan General John Nicholson on Saturday said that Afghan Taliban leadership has taken shelter in Quetta and Peshawar.

“US knows the Afghan Taliban leadership resides in two of Pakistani provincial capitals; Quetta and Peshawar,” he asserted while giving an interview to Afghan media outlet last week.

Stressing on curbing support to Afghan insurgents and terrorists, Gen Nicholson said that the issue of outside sanctuaries has to be addressed. “Support for terrorists has to be stopped,” he emphasized.

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