ISLAMABAD - According to Pakistan Foreign Office, Minister of Water and Power Khawaja Asif accompanied PM to Tajikistan as minister of water and power to discuss the CASA-1000 Project but sources stated that he went for the intelligence sharing about foreign terrorists carrying out terrorist attacks in the country.
“No Ministry of Water and Power staff accompanied Asif on this visit to Tajikistan,” a water and power official told The Nation. He further said that Khawaja Asif, went in the capacity of defence minister and not as minister of water and power.
Khawaja Asif is holding both the portfolios of defence and water and power.
Foreign office in a press release on Tuesday said that under the leadership of Prime Minsiter Nawaz Sharif, Pakistani delegation will meet Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda during their ongoing visit to Tajikistan.
It was further said that Pakistani delegation will discuss political, trade, economic, energy, infrastructure, connectivity, human resource development, culture, defence and security matters with Tajik rulers.
The release further said that minister for water and power will discuss CASA-1000, a project for regional energy cooperation among Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The sources deny FO claims and state that one of the major purposes of Khawaja Asif’s visit is intelligence sharing with Tajik government, not CASA-1000 Project.
According to intelligence reports, the terrorists who attacked the Karachi airport recently were militants of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
IMU is an Islamic militant group formed in 1991 by Tahir Yuldashev, and former Soviet Paratrooper, Juma Namangani. Similar to Taliban, its manifesto is to create an Islamic state under Islamic Shariah.
This group is reportedly operating out of bases in Tajikistan and Taliban influenced areas of Afghanistan.
The intelligence agencies couple of days back arrested two dozens of Uzbek and Tajik terrorists in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area for their alleged terrorist activities.
Pakistan on Sunday started a full-fledged military operation in North Waziristan, where it has deployed up to 30,000 troops to root out Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.
It was learnt that intelligence reports have indicated presence of foreign terrorists in North Waziristan.
According to the Pakistan Army mouthpiece ISPR, Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched against foreign and local terrorists, who are hiding in sanctuaries in North Waziristan Agency.
According to sources during the meeting with Tajik rulers, Pakistani delegation will seek intelligence sharing on high profile Tajik militants operating in Tajikistan or Afghanistan or Pakistan, their numbers, names/codenames, strengths, manoeuvring tactics, weapons, source of funding and combat abilities. When Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam was contacted for comments, she denied. “The purpose of his visit is what our statement states, I cannot comment on speculations,” she told The Nation.