ISLAMABAD- Pakistan has called upon Kabul and NATO to put in place strong measures for better management of Pak-Afghan border.
At her weekly news briefing today, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said protecting this border is the shared responsibility of both the sides. Pakistan, however, has carried an extra burden regarding the protection and management of the border. We have more than twelve hundred posts and also undertake surveillance. She said Pakistan is also keen to introduce biometric system but we also want equally strong measures from NATO and Afghan sides for management of the border.
When asked to comment on the perception that Abdullah Abdullah who is likely to become the next Afghan president is more pro-Indian and anti Pakistan, the spokesperson dismissed the perception that any Afghan leader is against Pakistan. She said it is up to the people of Afghanistan to elect their new government. Pakistan, she said, has repeatedly said that we are not supporting any Afghan party. We do not know who will form the next government there, but whosoever forms the government we will focus on building bilateral relations with the neighboring country and engage with their leaders for this purpose. She said Pakistan wants peace and stability in Afghanistan as it is in the self interest of Pakistan. Stability and and peace in Afghanistan will help us not only in countering terrorism and violence but also open new vistas for joint ventures and trade with the Central Asian States.
When asked about the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to United Kingdom, Tasnim Aslam said the Prime Minister is expected to visit Britain by the end of this month or start of next month. She said several ministerial level visits have taken place between both the sides to prepare ground for this head of government level talks. She hoped the visit will bring substantive progress in relations particularly relating to enhancing bilateral trade and strategic partnership.
With regards to Pakistan-US strategic dialogue, the spokesperson said several working groups except the one on law enforcement and counter terrorism have already met. The recent visit of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar particularly focused on enhancing cooperation in energy and infrastructure projects and promoting of bilateral trade.
To a question regarding concerns of different organizations over human rights situation in Pakistan, Tasnim Aslam said we do not accept unjust criticism from any quarter. She asserted that one can not be more concerned about human rights than the state of Pakistan. Reminding other states to also look into their track record of human rights, she said the international community should work together to improve the human rights conditions around the world but not focusing on one particular country.
On the Syrian situation, Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan does not interfere in matters of other countries and it is for the people of Syria to decide their future set up. She said we have urged all the sides in Syria to exercise restraint for peace and security. She said there is no pressure on Pakistan to take a certain position regarding Syria. We only want to see an end of violence there and easy access of Syrian people to humanitarian supplies.