ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani said that Pakistan is pursuing pro-active diplomacy and its relations with other countries are improving.
He was addressing a news conference flanked by Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti and other members of the cabinet following a meeting of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
Jilani confirmed that a demarche was issued to the Afghan charge d’affaires in the wake of the terrorist attack on two military posts in Chitral district.
Responding to a question whether the matter was taken up with the interim Afghan government, the foreign minister said, “Pakistan registered a strong protest over the incident, summoned the Afghan Cd’A in Islamabad yesterday and handed over a protest note (demarche) to him.”
FM Jilani said the Chitral incident was “very unfortunate” and said Pakistan was taking the recent rise in terrorism very seriously.
“It is the responsibility of the Afghan government that if attacks are occurring in Pakistan from their soil then it should stop them. So our expectation from the Afghan government is that it suppresses all such groups whether it is the TTP (Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan) or others,” the foreign minister said.
He said Pakistan was in continued engagement with Afghan authorities. “It will be our demand from the Afghan government that it ensures that such incidents don’t occur again,” Jilani added.
Similarly, interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said Pakistan and the world expect the Afghan Taliban authorities to honour the Doha agreement and not allow Afghanistan’s soil to be used for schemes against other countries.
The foreign minister said the SIFC meeting was briefed about Pakistan’s foreign policy. He said relations with China are strong and ties with the United States are witnessing a positive trajectory. He said that Pakistan also enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia, Middle East, GCC, South Asian, and Central Asian countries.
Terming Africa as an important region, Jalil Abbas Jilani said ‘Look Africa Policy’ has been formulated and our relations with African countries will be further enhanced.
He said the ties with European countries also hold significance and trade with the EU will be promoted. He said steps are being taken to solve the problems of international investors and long-term visas will be provided to the businessmen.
A day ago, FM Jilani had said the terrorist attack in Chitral was an “isolated incident” that was probably not sanctioned by the interim Afghan government.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that Pakistan communicated its concerns about the incident to the interim Afghan authorities and expected them to fulfill their obligations and deny the use of Afghan soil to terrorists working against Pakistan.
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