PM says stable, peaceful Afghanistan in interest of entire region
Says Pathankot probe findings will be made public after the investigation is over
Says he’s not working on anyone’s invitation but in personal capacity to effect improvement in Saudi Iran relations
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Sunday categorically stated that Pakistan and Afghanistan had an agreement against their respective soils being used by any terrorist group.
Talking to media men after his arrival from Geneva, the prime minister said that certain terrorist elements inside Afghanistan were involved in attacks against Pakistan, including Army Public School attack and more recently, the attack on Charsadda University.
“Pakistan is strictly abiding by the agreement, but some elements are active in Afghanistan who carry out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan,” he maintained.
He stressed that Afghanistan had an elected government, armed forces and intelligence agencies and it was their responsibility to act.
“We did not accuse anyone after the Charsadda attack. However, cross-border terrorism must stop,” Sharif said. “There is a need to curb such activities, “he added.
Responding to a query, the prime minister said that Pakistan strongly supported the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process as the stability of the region was interlinked with stability in Afghanistan.
He said that the latest quadrilateral meeting of coordinated group comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China, in Kabul was very encouraging.
“The three countries in the group want a peaceful settlement to the Afghan issue,” he said and stressed that it was not the lone responsibility of Pakistan.
The prime minister expressed the hope that there would be progress on the nascent initiative.
About the Pathankot attack, the prime minister said that Pakistan had not leveled any blame but there should be no interference into each other’s affairs. “Pakistan has a very firm stance over it,” he added.
He said that Pakistan was investigating the matter and the facts would be brought forward whenever investigations were over.
He said a special team had been constituted to thoroughly probe the issue and it would also visit India to further collect evidences.
The Indian prime minister had also assured of further assistance in the investigation process, he said, adding that they were working on the right lines.
To a question, the prime minister said that it was Pakistan’s desire to ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and bridge the chasm in their bilateral ties.
“We have taken the initiative on our own. Nobody called us to initiate it,” he made it clear.
He said that they had talked to both sides and were waiting for a response after which things would move forward.
About the National Action Plan, the prime minister said that it was being implemented vigorously and a plan was on the anvil to tackle the militant elements.
The prime minister said that Pakistan was facing certain issues, which could be tackled only after consultations and efforts of all the stakeholders.
The government, the army and other institutions are holding close consultations over important issues which is helping improve their performance, he added.
He said that whether it was a decision regarding war on terrorism, bringing about a constitutional amendment, setting up military courts or formulating the National Action Plan, they were all achieved after consultations.
“Our religion Islam also advises us to sort out issues and differences through consultations,” the prime minister said.
PM LAUDS EXPATRIATE SCIENTISTS:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif praised the brilliant scientists and engineers for building the country’s image and bringing the latest technology to Pakistan.
He was talking to a group of Pakistani students and experts at the European Organization for Nuclear Research at Cessy in Switzerland on Sunday. This was the first visit of a Pakistani head of government to the top scientific research organisation.
The prime minister visited various sections of the center and also witnessed the huge 14,000-tonne outer and inner shields built by the Heavy Mechanical Complex Taxila.
He expressed pleasure that Pakistan was the first non-European country to have become the associate member of the CERN. He said this is the recognition of the achievements of our scientists, engineers and technicians.
CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti said Pakistan had a long history of research in elementary particle physics and had produced renowned scientists in this field.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Mission Tehmina Janjua said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to CERN was a reaffirmation of his government’s strong commitment to promotion of science and technology in Pakistan.
Minister Technical at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to IAEA Waqar Ahmad said Pakistan’s membership will raise its stature at the international scientific scene as a provider of precision equipment.