Pakistani soil not being used against any country, says Dastagir

07 September, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Pakistani soil not being used against any country, says Dastagir

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif will visit Beijing on Friday to discuss a range of issues with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, China said on Wednesday.

The declaration did not explicitly name Pakistan, but this marked the first China put its signature on a list that named terrorist groups operating from Pakistani soil.

The Brics Summit 2017 issued a declaration in Xiamen today urging all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach to combat terrorism.

Pakistan's news web portals are, however, carrying reports filed by global news agencies such as Reuters on the important change in the stance of the five-nation bloc whose leaders met in China. "The two sides have seen their relationship growing with a sound momentum, frequent high-level exchanges and fruitful outcomes of political cooperation", he said.

Pakistan is seriously concerned about the threat posed by terrorism and extremism in the South Asian region, said Foreign Office Spokesman Nafeez Zakaria on Tuesday while responding to the statement released by the BRICS leaders.

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The minister's response follows a statement on Monday by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that also called for patrons of the Pakistan-based militant groups to be held to account.

"We have already said that there are no terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan", Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir told a meeting of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defence, claiming that 40 per cent of Afghanistan was a safe hideout for militants. "We express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and and its affiliates including the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir", the declaration said.

"We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals...." A range of punitive measures reportedly is being considered, though, such as increasing diplomatic and economic pressure, and intensifying and expanding anti-terrorism drone strikes inside Pakistan. "It means that a big part of Afghanistan is a safe haven".

"China is also a victim of terrorism and is firmly against any kind of terrorism, and that's the main reason that the organisations are named in the declaration", Hu said.

"In the future, sharing intelligence, building a drill mechanism and normalising these actions are the methods that the BRICS should refer to on counter-terrorism cooperation", Hu said.

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