ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah on Thursday said that dates for a meeting between Pakistan and India Foreign Secretary level talks in January were being finalized and would be announced close to their talks.
The agenda of their meeting would be to finalize the schedule of the various segments of resumption of comprehensive bilateral dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi as was agreed between the two countries on December 9, the foreign office spokesman said in a regular press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.
He said resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore last week were “two positive steps and we hope it will have a positive impact on our bilateral relations”.
Answering another question, he said, both countries “have serious issues and disputes that have to be resolved through bilateral talks” and that was the reason the coming dialogue “is very significant” where all issues would be discussed.
Questioned on reports of establishing barbed wire on Pak-India border, the spokesman said, when the foreign secretaries of the countries would meet next month “all issues of our concern” would come up for discussion.
Asked to comment on media reports about arrest of some people linked to Islamic State or Daesh, he said investigation was underway but he was not in a position to say who had left Pakistan to its ranks.
However the spokesman said “there is no footprints of Daesh in Pakistan and we will not tolerate even the shadow of Daesh in Pakistan.” The country’s security agencies had been already alerted on the threat posed by it and the steps had been taken in this regard.
Answering a question on the scheduled quadrilateral meeting in Islamabad among Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States in January, he said consultation were underway on its agenda within quadrilateral framework.
Giving a review of the country’s foreign policy, he said that Pakistan would continue momentum of its policy generated under the vision and guidance of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in 2015 for promotion of peace and stability in the region.
Under the “the vision and guidance” of the Prime Minister, Pakistan has been successful in enhancing its role at the international level. It has expressed its support for peaceful resolutions of conflicts and promotion of peace, stability and development has been “the hallmark of its foreign policy” during 2015, he said.
The clinching of $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Agreement, induction of Pakistan into Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as its member, facilitating talks between Afghan Government and Taliban in July 2015, the “Heart of Asia Conference” in Islamabad in August which was attended by delegates of 46 countries” signified confidence of the international community” in Pakistan’s leadership and its policies, he said.
During 2015, he said Nawaz Sharif visited Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, U.S, China, United Kingdom, Russia, France, Belarus, Malta, Central Asian Republic countries and attended the UN General Assembly session.
Questioned on 34-nations Saudi Arab alliance against terrorism, he said as had been stated before “we have joined the coalition against terrorism,” but the extent of ‘our participation” would be decided after receiving details from Riyadh.
Replying to a question on media reports on Bangladesh’s decision to recall its envoy from Islamabad, he said, Bangladesh High Commissioner here was twice summoned to the Foreign Office with regard to the harassment of a Pakistani diplomat in Dhaka.
The Pakistani diplomat was later called back to Islamabad. However, he said, that the people of Pakistan and Bangladesh had strong bond and were very close to each other hence he urged Bangladesh to adopt a forward looking approach as enshrined in 1974 agreement between the two countries.