Pakistan terms Sheikh Hasina’s provocative statement ‘highly regrettable’

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Office on Thursday termed the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s statement about Pakistan ‘highly regrettable’, and said that such statements hamper the letter and spirit of the Tripartite Agreement of 1974.

On March 25 while addressing an event in Dhaka, Sheikh Hasina had said that the people of Bangladesh needed to punish those who still loved Pakistan despite being in an independent nation.

“Such provocative statements are highly regrettable,” the Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said at his weekly news briefing in Islamabad.

Dr Faisal said that Pakistan strongly maintains that peaceful coexistence with forward looking vision is the best path forward to ensure progress and prosperity for both countries as well as the whole region.

In reply to a question about the Afghan National Security Adviser Haneef Atmar’s criticism against Pakistan for the problems faced by Afghanistan, the Spokesperson said that “We strongly reject these allegations and such statements negatively reflect on our bilateral relationship.”

The Spokesperson said that Pakistan has always supported an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process in Afghanistan, and has reiterated that only through political reconciliation, wherein all warring factions begin a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with the Afghan government, can lasting peace be achieved in Afghanistan.

“We have supported the Afghanistan related initiatives in this context. Our policy on Afghanistan remains unchanged,” he said.

Dr Muhammad Faisal said that during Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Lt. General (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua’s recent visit to Kabul, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani invited Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to Afghanistan at a convenient time, an offer that he has accepted.

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Dr Faisal said that it is a welcoming development, and part of our continuous dialogue and engagement with Afghanistan and the international community for a lasting solution to the Afghan problem.

“It is true that peace in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to Pakistan’s peace and stability,” he added.

In reply to another question, Dr Faisal said that having established sanctuaries on Afghan side of the Pak-Afghan border, terrorist groups including Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), Lanshkar-i-Islam (LI) and Daesh etc are involved in undertaking cross-border raids on our military posts.

The Spokesperson said that we have shared the locations of the safe heavens of these groups with Afghan and the US authorities on many occasions, however, our concerns have not yet been fully addressed.

Pakistan makes a demarche to Afghanistan

Meanwhile, Pakistan today handed over a dossier to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Islamabad.

The dossier contains evidence of the involvement of Afghanistan based TTP in the suicide bombing at a Pakistan army unit in Swat and the presence of TTP, JuA and other terrorist groups’ hideouts in Afghan territory.

The Afghan side was asked to take effective action against terrorist hideouts from where they have been financing, planning and undertaking cross border terrorist attacks on Pakistani military posts, cities and towns.

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