Published: Thu, September 07, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

No safe haven for terrorists on Pakistan's soil: Khurram Dastgir

No safe haven for terrorists on Pakistan's soil: Khurram Dastgir

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will visit the regional countries - beginning with China - on September 8 to discuss the foreign policy and the future strategy.

China said today it has invited Pakistan's Foreign Minister for talks, in an apparent move to assuage Islamabad's concerns after the BRICS countries for the first time named Pakistan-based terrorist groups like LeT and JeM in the grouping's declaration. "These organisations are all sanctioned by the UN Security Council and have a significant impact for Afghanistan issue", foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

Pakistan's news web portals are, however, carrying reports filed by worldwide news agencies such as Reuters on the important change in the stance of the five-nation bloc whose leaders met in China.

Asif conveyed that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Afghanistan, and is prepared to work with Afghanistan in all fields, including political, economic, trade and transit, security, and others fields for the progress and prosperity of the two countries.

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.

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"We reject the declaration (released by member countries) at the BRICS Summit", Pakistan's Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir said.

"We, in this regard, express concern over the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, (Islamic State)., Al-Qaeda and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, TTP and Hizb-ut-Tehrir", the declaration read, without alluding to Pakistan.

Asif further said that Pakistan needs to ask itself if it had fully implemented the National Action Plan on terrorism that was framed after the terrorist attack on a Peshawar school in 2014.

To the apparent surprise of Islamabad, China came out in support of the BRICS declaration slamming Pakistan-linked terrorist groups.

"The BRICS declaration suggests an global trend that Pakistan can not afford to ignore". In the coming days Chinese diplomats have to explain to Pakistan.

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"All this said, I don't think this will lead to any policy shifts in Pakistan".

China has been forced to condemn terrorist based organisations.

There was no safe haven for terrorists here, he said. Pakistan, he said, had conducted successful operations Zarb-e-Azb and Rad-ul-Fasaad to eliminate terrorism but the world had not acknowledged the same.

"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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