Pakistan not to succumb to US pressure against national interest: FO

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 25 (APP):Pakistan on Thursday said it would not bow down to pressure by the United States or any other country against its national interest. “There is no question of any country put pressure on Pakistan on matters which we believe are in our national interest,” Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal said in response to a question that the United States had renewed its demands on Pakistan to “do more” in efforts against militancy.
The Spokesman said Pakistan’s foreign policy was based on principle of peace within and peace without.
“In all our domestic and international pronouncements, we are guided only by Pakistan’s national interest and its prosperity,” he said.
Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan and the United States were currently engaged along with other regional stakeholders to pursue a political settlement in Afghanistan, which is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.
He mentioned that in the same context, the US Special Representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad visited the region including Pakistan couple of weeks ago.
“Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States and the international community to bring about lasting peace in Afghanistan is our firm belief for elimination of terrorism in Pakistan and in region,” he said.
On the recently-held parliamentary election in Afghanistan, the Spokesman termed it a positive development and hoped the process would continue towards restoration of peace.
To a question about Pakistan’s mandate to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Yemen as announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address to nation, the Spokesman said the country would continue to pursue its practice of improving relations among the Muslim states.
“Pakistan as a matter of policy has always worked for the best of relations between our brotherly Muslim countries and we shall continue,” the Spokesman said without giving further details about the modalities of mediatory process.
On reports of Pakistan renewing its proposal to India for bilateral arrangements on nuclear test ban, the Spokesman said Pakistan in August 2016 had announced to consider translating its unilateral moratorium into a bilateral arrangement on nuclear non-testing.
He said the proposal was on the table and was reflection of Pakistan’s policy on nuclear restraint in South Asia.
On update on the matter of abduction of 12 Iranian border guards, the Spokesman said there was an active cooperation with Iranian local commander level and the two DGMOs had also spoken.
The Spokesman said Prime Minister Imran Khan would pay an official visit to China on November 2-5 and would be accompanied by a high-level delegation including the Foreign Minister. He said during his stay in Beijing, the Prime Minister would hold wide-ranging meetings with the Chinese leadership and would also be among the keynote speakers at the first China-Pakistan Expo to be held in Shanghai.
The Foreign Minister highlighted the atrocities of Indian occupation forces in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 20 people including a Ph.D scholar Dr Sabzar Ahmed Sofi. He said Pakistan mourned with its brothers and sisters in Indian Occupied Kashmir on the unabated killings and saluted their courage and steadfastness for demanding their right to self-determination.