ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday urged Afghanistan to stop terrorism emanating from its soil targeting Pakistan.
Speaking at the weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Pakistan was very disappointed that “we have not seen the kind of results that we have expected from the Afghan authorities. We believe that the channels of communication should continue and we would continue to impress on Afghan authorities to take effective action against these terrorist groups.”
She said Pakistan had been given certain assurances with reference to the demands by the Afghan authorities. “We now like to see effective action against these groups and substantial results on the ground with respect to any action that has been or is being taken against these terror outfits,” she added. She said Afghanistan had suffered a great deal because of war and strife over the last several decades. And Pakistan, as a neighbour, she said had also felt the pain because of the instability and war in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has always called for peace and dialogue and we would advise parties to refrain from military means to resolve the differences and to engage in dialogue for any political differences that they may have. On your second question about a statement by an Afghan official, we do not believe that statement deserves any response, because it would not be dignified for any decent person to even take it seriously,” the spokesperson elaborated.
With regards to the question of data on repatriation of Afghan and other foreign nationals residing illegally in Pakistan, she said, Pakistan was very satisfied with the number of individuals who are leaving for Afghanistan voluntarily and the number of repatriations involving the law enforcement officials was very small compared to the voluntary repatriations taking place.
“This is encouraging for Pakistan because that gives us a hope that these individuals would apply for visas for Pakistan in future and come here through legal means on Afghan passports. With regards to the Bannu attack and other terrorist attacks that have recently taken place in Pakistan, there are concerns of our law enforcement officials that there are links of these attacks with individuals and TTP operatives who currently reside inside Afghan territory,” she said.
She added: “Pakistan has expressed our serious concerns and we hope that the Afghan authorities will take immediate action against these individuals and hand them over to Pakistan.” The spokesperson said Pakistan has always wanted to have peaceful and friendly ties with Afghanistan. “Pakistan has advocated internationally that humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan must continue. We have also called for the financial and economic relief for the people of Afghanistan. With respect to the terrorist groups, which have sanctuaries and hideouts in Afghanistan, Pakistan has serious concerns about their continued presence and activities as these individuals and entities continue to attack Pakistan and cause loss of life inside Pakistan,” she explained.
The spokesperson said the people of Pakistan this week joined the international community in observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
“We reaffirm our support for our Palestinian brothers and sisters in this time of great ordeal and trauma for the Palestinian people. We are disappointed that after a brief pause, Israel has restarted bombing the Palestinian people. The temporary pause offered a crucial respite to the suffering people of Gaza and allowed exchange of prisoners,” she said.
Pakistan, she said, “reiterates its call for a durable and sustained ceasefire to enable supply of extensive and robust humanitarian assistance; urgent medical aid to the injured.