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Has Nawaz taken political asylum in UK? Here’s what FO spokesperson says

ISLAMABAD: The political pundits are busy these days sizing up whether Nawaz Sharif’s visit to London is a political asylum in disguise, but no official word has transpired on the issue as yet.

In a weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal was questioned by a journalist to comment on former President Asif Zardari’s statement on Nawaz Sharif getting political asylum in UK. The spokesperson tersely responded: “It is not obligatory on the country wherein political asylum is taken to inform the country of origin.”

Asked about the update on the restrictions imposed on Pakistan’s diplomats in the US and on US diplomats in Pakistan, he said both sides were actively engaged on the matter.

In his comments about Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Switzerland, particularly in the context of the future of Iranian nuclear deal, he reiterated Pakistan’s stance of supporting Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and hoped that the parties to the agreement would continue their commitment to the deal.

Dr Faisal said Pakistan attached great importance to SAARC and was committed to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter. Pakistan looked forward to the holding of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad at the earliest which had been delayed long enough.

He said the delegates of Pakistan Chapter of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry could not attend the event due to other pressing engagements. However, deputy Secretary General from Pakistan attended the conclave.

He also said that Pakistan would participate in the Joint Military Anti-Terrorist Command and Staff Exercise to be held in Russia in August this year under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Peace Mission 2018.

The spokesman said the exercise, being held in the Ural Mountains, was a regular feature to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation among the Member States.

He said Pakistan and Russia had been arranging joint military exercises “Friendship” “(DRUZHBA)” since last two years. The joint military exercises were held in Pakistan and Russia in 2016 and 2017 respectively, besides the two editions of navy exercises in 2014 and 2015.

The spokesman voiced serious concern over the “relentless killing, maiming, unlawful arrests and torture” by India against the innocent civilians in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir and pointed that in June alone 33 people had been killed by the Indian Army.

He reiterated the demand for immediate establishment of Commission of Inquiry to assess the Human Rights situation in the region and said the reign of terror against the Kashmiris has become a matter of routine.




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