All outstanding issues to be discussed with Indian Foreign Secretary: FO
Foreign Office says Pakistan welcomes peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan government
Foreign Office says all outstanding disputes including Jammu and Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen will be discussed during the foreign secretary level talks with India.
At her weekly news briefing in Islamabad today, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said the Indian foreign secretary will arrive in Islamabad on March 3 and hold talks with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. Agenda of the talks is being finalized and is expected to also include strategic stability, people to people contacts and trade matters.
The spokesperson said the visit is taking place in pursuant to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's telephonic call to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which he expressed his intention to send the foreign secretary to Pakistan. We had welcomed this initiative of the Indian prime minister.
Responding to a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan has been playing a key role in efforts against terrorism which have also been recognized by the international community. She said we believe that our friends including the United States will provide necessary support to Pakistan to continue the anti-terror effort in an effective manner. She said the Obama administration in its budgetary proposals for next fiscal year has proposed to give 804 million dollars assistance to Pakistan.
About reports of presence of ISIS in Pakistan, the spokesperson said Pakistan will not allow the outfit to establish footholds in the country. In this regard, we will and are taking appropriate measures. She said Pakistan is against all forms and manifestations of terrorism and has launched an across the board operation against all the terrorists.
When asked to comment on initial contacts between Afghan Taliban and Afghan government, Tasnim Aslam said a negotiated and political reconciliation is the only way forward. Pakistan welcomes the peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and government. She said Pakistan has and will continue to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in every possible manner.
On Pakistan's contributions to UN peace keeping operations, the spokesperson said our role in peace keeping missions is underpinned by the national consensus and is integral part of our foreign policy. She said Pakistan has been contributing to the UN peace keeping mission for over five decades. Since 1960, about 155,000 peace keepers have made important contributions towards peace and security in 42 UN peace keeping missions. Over 140 Pakistani peace keepers have laid down their lives in advancing the cause of global peace and security.
About the situation in Syria, the spokesperson said Pakistan wants peace and stability to prevail in the country.