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Hafiz Saeed arrest: FO advises India to put its own house in order

ISLAMABAD: Commenting on Indian External Affairs Ministry’s statement over Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s house arrest, the Foreign Office on Thursday said that India should take corrective measures for itself rather than commenting on the affairs of other countries.

Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, during the weekly briefing, took a strong exception of the Indian external affairs ministry’s statement on the house arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and said that there was irrefutable evidence that India was involved in perpetrating terrorism in Pakistan.

He reminded all that Indian state institutions carried out terrorism on Indian soil and blamed it on others.

Zakaria said that Pakistan has taken all actions against proscribed outfits and terrorist elements without any discrimination in the larger national interest and in line with international obligations.

He said Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism have also been acknowledged at the world level.

India changing demography of occupied-Kashmir

Expressing concerns over the ongoing human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, the spokesperson said India is trying to change demography of Occupied Kashmir and the international community should take notice of this development.

The spokesman said the UN and the world community has an obligation and should make vigorous efforts for the resolution of outstanding Kashmir dispute. This is vital to ensure peace and stability in the South Asian region.

When asked about the Indian decision to increase defense expenditures by ten percent, he said Pakistan is opposed to any conventional and nuclear arms race in the region.

He said Pakistan is maintaining minimum deterrence for its self-defence. He described the Indian arms buying spree as a threat to region adding Pakistan does not want to indulge in any arms race.

US immigration policy is sovereign right

When asked about the new US visa policy, the spokesperson said it is every country’s sovereign right to decide its immigration policy, but such decisions are not without humanitarian and political dimensions that need to be looked at and considered in going forward.

He emphasized the countries need to adopt policies that are not susceptible to be exploited by entities wishing to see cracks in the coalition against terrorism along religious lines. He said Pakistan looks forward to strengthening relations with the US.

Afghan peace in Pakistan’s interest

To a question about Afghan situation, Zakariya said that it has been steadfast policy of Pakistan to have strong relations with Afghanistan as peace in the nation is actually is in the interest of Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan believes there is no military solution to the Afghan problem and the way forward is a politically negotiated settlement. He said Pakistan has been making efforts for bringing the Taliban to the table of negotiations with the Afghan government.

He announced that Pakistan is hosting 13th meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) on March 1. It will be preceded by the 22nd meeting of the ECO Council of Foreign Ministers on February 28 and senior officials a day earlier.





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