Pakistan Hails US-Afghan Agreement

Oct 3rd, 2014 | By | Category: Pakistan

542deb16e0deaDawn: “As regards BSA, Afghanistan is a sovereign country. It is their right to conclude agreements with any country,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at the weekly media briefing.

She further said that Pakistan government wished “Afghanistan the best and we will continue to facilitate all efforts, to the extent possible, for creating stability, peace and prosperity in Afghanistan”.

Pakistan has in the past expressed reservations about the BSA, but at the same time has remained opposed to precipitate withdrawal of foreign troops from the war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Islamabad agrees to support accord after clarification by Washington

Islamabad’s fears about the agreement pertained to a provision about action against states that threatened the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and implications of long-term presence of US troops in the region.

However, Pakistan agreed to support the agreement after a clarification by the US, according to an American official, that: “The provisions (of BSA) related to counter-terrorism operations relate only to operations within Afghanistan.”

The spokesperson reiterated Pakistan’s demand for Afghanistan taking coordinated steps on the other side of the Durand Line in support of Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan share a very long border. While we are in the midst of a decisive operation against militants, which is proceeding very successfully, it is essential that there is action from the other side as well,” she said.

She also reminded about the need for better border management.

“We have given a number of proposals to Afghanistan and we hope to proceed further on it,” she added.

INDIA: The spokesperson avoided clarifying the controversy kicked up by Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz’s comments that the timing of meeting of the high commissioner with Kashmiri leaders, which led to cancellation of foreign secretaries’ talks, was inappropriate.

Instead of commenting on the controversial remark, she said: “the thrust of what he said was that we will continue to meet the Kashmiri leadership whenever we consider it necessary.”

“By way of explanation, he (Mr Aziz) said that whenever Pakistan and India hold talks on substantive mattes related to Jammu and Kashmir, we always hold talks with the Kashmiri leaders to take their views on board,” she added.

MUSHAHID PROPOSAL: The spokesperson rejected as legally impracticable a proposal made by Senate Defence Committee chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain for converting the Siachen into a peace park.

Senator Mushahid, who this week led a Senate Defence Committee delegation to Siachen, also suggested demilitarisation of Siachen and joint Pak-India efforts for preserving the environment and dealing with climate change.

“The de-militarisation of Siachen and making it a peace park has been under discussion in the past as well. India was, however, not willing to withdraw troops without authentication of actual position that they held. This was legally not possible,” she said.



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