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Pakistan rejects unwarranted Indo-US allegations

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday strongly rejected the recent joint Indo-US statement as unwarranted, asking Pakistan not to allow its territory to be used against other countries as well as bringing to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai and other cross-border attacks.

The joint statement was issued after the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis to New Delhi.

Pompeo also visited Islamabad where he had discussed the possibility of resetting the troubled ties with the new government in Islamabad.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the news conference that discussions, contrary to speculations, went positive and also claimed that there was no emphasis on doing more.

However, the joint Indo-US statement suggested otherwise.

Asked to comment on the development, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal told a news conference that Pakistan had taken ‘strong exception to the unwarranted references against Pakistan”.

“Pakistan rejects these baseless allegations. Accordingly, we have conveyed our position to the US side,” Faisal said.

“The ministry is of the view that mentioning of a third country with unsubstantiated accusations in a formal outcome document is inconsistent with the established diplomatic norms,” he added.

He said what was more ironic was that many other thorny issues involving third countries were avoided in the joint statement by the Indian side on the pretext of same diplomatic practice.

“As you are aware, the Mumbai trail is ongoing in an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan. The judicial process shall take its course,” the spokesperson told reporters.

“We expect the US to focus similarly, if not more, on the Indian state terrorism and the resulting humanitarian emergency in IoK, where Indian atrocities have intensified,” he said.

Commenting on the recent statement of the Indian High Commissioner that the change of government in Pakistan had provided a window of opportunity for re-engagement, Faisal said Pakistan had all along been stressing the need for resumption of dialogue.

“We are officially waiting for a response from India on how they want to move forward. We have a consistent position on this,” he said.

“If you see the recent overtures, Prime Minister Modi called our prime minister and our foreign minister also received a letter for his Indian counterpart. We want to utilise the same window and see how we can move forward,” he said.

The spokesperson confirmed Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon undertake a visit to Saudi Arabia, his first foreign trip since taking the charge last month.

The visit is seen as significant as the prime minister is likely to discuss the possibility of an economic bailout package with the Saudi leadership.

Other issues include the regional security environment and Pakistan’s critical role in it. The visit would be closely watched since PM Imran is thought to have leaned towards Iran, the Saudi Arabia’s arch rival.

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