Wednesday, 19 June 2024, 06:02:08 am

Pakistan reaffirms commitment to Iran Pakistan gas pipeline project
March 21, 2024

Pakistan has reaffirmed commitment to Iran Pakistan gas pipeline project.

Responding to the queries of the media persons regarding yesterday's US congressional hearing, at her weekly news briefing in Islamabad today, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said it is the sovereign decision of Pakistani government to move forward on the project.

She made it clear that at this point there is no room for any discussion or waiver from any third party for the construction of the pipeline inside Pakistan's territory. She said Pakistan has also conveyed to the US authorities the importance of this project for its energy security.   

When asked about the concerns raised at the US congressional hearing over the alleged rigging in the general elections, the spokesperson said some statements made there reflected misunderstanding of Pakistan's domestic situation and electoral laws. She hoped to engage in meaningful discussion with the US to address these misunderstandings.

She said Pakistan values its close relations with the US and believes in constructive engagement with it. She said Pakistan respects the prerogative of legislative bodies to discuss international issues. She, however, said the deliberations of these legislative bodies should contribute promoting positive dynamics in bilateral ties based on mutual respect and understanding.

Responding to volley of questions regarding Pakistan's recent targeted and intelligence based operation inside Afghanistan, the spokesperson clarified it was not directed against the government and the institutions or people of Afghanistan but it was against terrorist hideouts and sanctuaries.

 She said Pakistan has on multiple occasions shared concrete evidence and intelligence with the Afghan authorities about the presence of terrorist sanctuaries inside Afghanistan. She said it is a reality that terrorists especially the TTP have their basis in Afghanistan. This is not just Pakistan's assertion but also confirmed by the international observers including reports by the United Nations.

The spokesperson said Pakistan respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and looking forward to work together to find joint solutions in countering terrorism and preventing any terrorist entity from sabotaging bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  She emphasized we should be partners in peace and partner against terrorism.

To a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan is committed to protecting CPEC related projects including Gwadar port.

When asked about the Indian Home Minister Amit Shah recent remarks that Azad Kashmir is part of India, the spokesperson said these are unwarranted and based on fallacy. She said Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute whose final disposition is to be made by the Kashmiri people in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. She emphasized that instead of staking claim on Azad Kashmir, it is important for India to respect the rights of the people of illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.