Pakistan Foreign Office clarifies government position on Afghanistan peace deal, Iran nuclear deal and Kartarpur corridor agreement with India

Pakistan Foreign Office clarifies government position on Afghanistan peace deal, Iran nuclear deal and Kartarpur corridor agreement with India

ISLAMABAD: Terming “positive” the recent Doha talks between Afghans and Taliban, the Foreign Office Thursday said Pakistan was receiving ‘wide acknowledgment and appreciation’ from the stakeholders for its facilitatory role to help continue the peace process.

“Our efforts to facilitate the concerned groups to continue negotiations for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned solution to the conflict, are getting recognition,” Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said at a weekly press briefing.

The two-day peace talks attended by representatives of Afghan government and Taliban in Doha, Qatar, on July 8-9 concluded with both sides calling to end civilian casualties and pledging to guarantee protection of public institutions.

Ahead of Doha talks, the Afghan leaders had earlier met in Pakistan’s Bhurban hill town in June, which was followed by the visit of President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad.

The FO spokesman, however, clarified that Pakistan’s role was purely meant to facilitate the process.

“We repeat, we are playing a facilitatory role and would continue to do that. Our position is nothing more than a politically negotiated intra-Afghan solution to the conflict,” he said.

He said Pakistan would continue its policy to support international efforts meant for a durable and sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

On upcoming meeting between Pakistan and India on Kartarpur Corridor on July 14, the FO spokesman said the delegations would negotiate the agreement from around 9 am to 1 pm at the Wagah Border.

He refused to share further details, saying “Pakistan would honour the sanctity of the agreement not to reveal information to media before time”. However, he said a press conference would be held after the meeting for an update for public consumption.

On verdict of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav due to be announced by International Court of Justice on July 17, the spokesman said “Pakistan was hoping for the best”, however could not pre-judge the decision since the matter was sub judice.

He said Pakistan presented its stance in a best possible manner through a fully-prepared team including the Counsel, the Attorney General and other officials at the February’s oral hearings at ICJ .

On recent tension between the United States and Iran viz-a-viz nuclear deal, he said Pakistan desired all members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to negotiate the issue through dialogue.

The spokesman appreciated the recently launched second report of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that documented the atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).

However, he stressed that there was no parallel of IoK with Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, as the latter two were open for foreign visitors.

The spokesman confirmed that Pakistan’s High Commissioner-designate to India had received Agreema and would join his duties in near future.