Pakistan says it is looking forward to positive engagements with the United States at the leadership level. Foreign Office Spokesperson, Dr Muhammad Faisal was responding to the queries of media persons at his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday on the statement made by US President Donald Trump that he looks forward to meet the new Pakistani leadership. The spokesperson said President Donald Trump's remarks are indeed a departure from his Ist January 2018 tweet. When asked about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the spokesperson said Pakistan, being immediate neighbour of Afghanistan, is interested that any development in that country may leads to peace and stability in the region. Dr Muhammad Faisal said that on the request of the US and Afghan government, Pakistan is facilitating direct peace talks between Washington and Taliban.
To a question, the spokesperson said Afghanistan should not allow any terrorist group or individual to use its territory against Pakistan. When asked about talks with India, the spokesperson said Pakistan has always expressed its steadfastness towards that end. However it cannot do anything if India is not ready to come to the table of negotiations. On the shooting down of two Indian quadcopters by Pakistani forces, Dr Muhammad Faisal strongly condemned the Indian violations on the Line of Control saying our forces effectively responded to the Indian aggression. He said any misadventure by India will be responded in a befitting manner.
The Spokesperson once again rejected the Indian notion that they carried out surgical strikes inside Pakistan. He said Pakistan's desire for peace should be not construed as its weakness.
Dr. Muhammad Faisal said Kashmir is a disputed territory and its resolution lies in plebiscite in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
He urged the international community to call upon India to stop its gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. He said India should allow the UN observer mission to visit the area of LoC to monitor ceasefire violations.
Responding to a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan desires to move forward its relations with Bangladesh. He said we welcome the newly elected government there and hope it will take the relations away from the irritants of the past.
The spokesperson strongly rejected New York Times report that Pakistan has sent one thousand troops to Yemen.
About relations with China, Dr Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan-China relations are strategic in nature and their economic ties have expanded in recent times.