ISLAMABAD, Feb 26 (APP):Pakistan on Friday reiterating its desire for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes with India including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute emphatically stated that there was no change in its principled position.
“Pakistan has always maintained that we want peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including the internationally recognized dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. There is no change in our principled position,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri while responding to a question during a weekly press briefing.
To another question regarding the Afghan Transit Trade, the Spokesperson added, “We believe that Afghan economy needs support and in that spirit we allow the export of Afghan goods to India under the Afghan Transit Trade.”
To a question about the reports of back channel diplomacy between Pakistan and India he referred the tweets of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security, adding, he had nothing further to add to that.
“The focus of the talks of DGMOs was de-escalation along the Line of Control as per the agreed mechanisms and understandings,” the Spokesperson maintained.
To another query, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) appreciated Pakistan for the significant progress made on the entire action plan.
In its plenary meeting held on 25th February, he said the FATF had stated “To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items.”
The Spokesperson said that the FATF has acknowledged Pakistan`s continued high-level political commitment to combat terrorist financing that led to significant progress across a comprehensive Action Plan.
“Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to continue strengthening the Anti- Money Laundering / Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in line with the global standards,” he added.
To a question about the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Spokesperson said Pakistan believed that SAARC provided an important platform for regional cooperation and all member states must utilize it to enhance cooperation for the betterment of the people.
“During the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and objectives of the SAARC charter,” he added.
In the joint communiqué of the visit, the Spokesperson mentioned that both sides stressed the need to convene the charter based bodies and agreed to take forward the SAARC process for further strengthening regional cooperation to achieve prosperity in the region.
To a question about the recent statement of Deputy Governor of Iran’s Sistan-o-Baluchistan province pointing figure at Pakistan regarding the firing incident on a gathering of fuel smugglers, the Spokesperson said, “We are aware of the statement you have referred to.”
He said, “The incident occurred on the Iranian side of border. We have taken up the matter with the Iranian Embassy on the statement made by the Deputy Governor of Sistan-o-Baluchistan.”
The Spokesperson further said that Pakistan viewed its border with Iran as “one of peace and friendship”.
“We remain engaged with Iranian officials to discuss ways and means to not only facilitate cross-border commerce for local people living on both sides of the border but to also ensure the security of the common border,” he added.
The Spokesperson further said that such unfortunate incidents validated the need to have more formal ways to increase the trading opportunities for local people.