–Spokesman says Pakistan wants an end to controversy surrounding Khan-Pompeo conversation
—Says India’s role in Chahbahar Port ‘does not affect us’
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal on Thursday said that the government hasn’t mulled over any action against the Dutch ambassador yet.
“No decision has yet been taken on whether the Dutch ambassador will be expelled or any other action will be taken,” he said during his weekly briefing.
Right-wing party Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) has demanded the Dutch envoy’s expulsion during the first round of talks between the party’s top leadership and the government in Lahore in a protest against the blasphemous caricatures contest by anti-Islam Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.
Earlier, the religiopolitical party had urged the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to not only “discontinue diplomatic and commercial relations with the Netherlands” but also “demand from other Islamic countries to do the same”.
The TLP had also demanded that since the said competition’s judge is an American national, “therefore, strict measures should also be taken against the US”.
Addressing the presser on Thursday, Dr Faisal said that an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) permanent representatives had already been sought by Pakistan to discuss the matter. He said that FM Qureshi will represent Pakistan at the meeting.
“The foreign minister will raise the issue of blasphemous caricatures in the meeting,” he added.
The FO spokesman explained, “The FM also raised the issue with his Dutch counterpart.”
IMRAN-POMPEO CONVERSATION CONTROVERSY:
The FO spokesman also said that Pakistan desires an end to the discussion regarding the controversy surrounding the phone conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
Dr Faisal said, “We want an end to this matter and want to move forward politically.”
“Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has already issued a detailed clarification and we will not comment further on this matter,” he added.
The FO spokesman deflected a question regarding whether the US had issued a transcript of the phone conversation that took place between the US secretary of state and PM Khan.
The US had reportedly sent the transcript of the telephonic conversation between PM Khan and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pakistan. The transcript details all that was discussed during the talk.
According to reports, the transcript had ‘embarrassed’ the government who had challenged the contents released by the US State Department.
FO Spokesman Dr Faisal said, “Last week, Indian forces martyred 10 Kashmiris.”
“International community should take notice of the violation of human rights in occupied Kashmir,” he added.
The FO spokesman also condemned the arrests of Hurriyat leaders and expressed concern regarding their health.
“We summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner over the martyrdom of a citizen in the unprovoked firing of Indian forces at the control line,” Dr Faisal also said.
Responding to a question regarding the Chahbahar Port, FO spokesman Dr Faisal said, “India’s part in the port does not affect us.”
“We have to move forward together and are assessing investment opportunities in it,” he added.
He also said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is China’s “flagship project” and “Pakistan and China are iron brothers”.
“Opening of Kartarpura passage can prove to be a turning point,” the FO spokesman added.
Dr Faisal explained that “attempts are being made to improve relations and remove differences between Pakistan and India” and a commercial transit point is only a “small part of the issue”.
IRANIAN FM’S VISIT:
Dr Faisal termed the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s two-day visit to Pakistan a “positive development”.
The visit is scheduled to begin on Thursday.
“Zarif will meet PM Khan, FM Qureshi and other senior leaders during his visit,” the FO spokesman added.
Regarding the Aafia Siddiqui case, FO Spokesman Dr Faisal said, “There is no new development in Aafia Siddiqui case.”