ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam on Thursday said that Pakistan and the United States will hold strategic level dialogue here this month.
Briefing media here, Tasnim Aslam said the US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Pakistan to lead his country’s delegation in the talks. She said arrangements for the strategic dialogue including visit dates are being finalized.
To a question about Indian firing on Shakargarh, the spokesperson said Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with the Indian deputy high commissioner and also handed over a protest note containing details of the incident.
She said our soldiers were asked for a meeting from the other side with white flags and then they were ambushed. This, she said, is sheer violation of international laws and bilateral understandings. She said Pakistan has demanded India to investigate the incident and give exemplary punishment to those responsible.
When asked about case of Mumbai attack’s main accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the spokesperson regretted the hype created on the sub judice matter. She said the case is progressing well but the media trial will not serve any purpose.
She pointed out that Samjhota Express terror attack took place two years before Mumbai attack but no progress has been made in that case. The accused Swami Aseemanand, who had confessed his involvement and those of military officers and prominent leaders in the attack, was released on bail. It is disappointing that India has not shared any findings of the terrorist attack with Pakistan despite assurances at the highest level.
To a query, Tasnim Aslam reiterated Pakistan’s resolve against terrorism. She said we are working with the International community including Afghanistan and the United States to counter this menace. We have undertaken a comprehensive operation against the terrorists. This operation is successfully being carried out across the board against all the terrorists.
About the future prospects of Indo-Pak dialogue, the spokesperson said the Indian side cancelled the scheduled foreign secretary level talks and now onus lies with it to take the initiative.
When asked about Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, the spokesperson categorically stated that Pakistan remains committed to the pipeline project which is important for our energy requirements. Both the sides are bilaterally engaged to take forward the project.
About draw down of international forces from Afghanistan, the spokesperson said Pakistan has consistently supported a responsible draw down from the neighboring country.
She expressed the confidence that the transition in Afghanistan will be completed in an orderly and successful manner. She said peace and stability in Afghanistan is vital for Pakistan and the region. Therefore Pakistan will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.
To another question, the Spokesperson said the year 2014 saw Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan and Iran on a very positive trajectory. We hope to build on this in the New Year. She said understanding with the United States also increased during the last year while new vistas are being opened with Russia.