US-Taliban peace deal will be signed soon, says FO - Pakistan Today

US-Taliban peace deal will be signed soon, says FO

–Aisha Farooqui says Pakistan hopes Trump will raise Kashmir issue with Indian leadership

–FO spokesperson rejects impression that arrests in Saudi Arabia are limited to Pakistani nationals

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday said that a deal between the United States and Taliban for sustainable peace in Afghanistan will be signed soon and it will take into account the interests of all stakeholders.

Speaking at her weekly news briefing in Islamabad, FO Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that the deal will lead to intra-Afghan dialogue. She added that Pakistan wants to see peace and stability in Afghanistan more than any other country in the world.

Aisha said that Pakistan hopes that the US President Donald Trump will raise the issue of Kashmir with the Indian leadership during his upcoming visit to India. She hoped that Trump’s offer of mediation will be taken forward through some concrete practical steps.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan welcomes the letter written by the US Senators to the US secretary of state drawing attention to the plight of people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

She said that voices are growing around the world calling upon India to provide fundamental freedoms to the people of occupied Kashmir by lifting the draconian laws and ensuring the just resolution of the outstanding dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Referring to the recent visits of the UN secretary general and the Turkish president, Aisha said that these show a growing acknowledgment by the international community of Pakistan’s contributions towards global peace and security.

Responding to a question, the spokesperson said that a special task force comprising two officers of Pakistan’s mission in Beijing has been sent and deployed in the Chinese city of Wuhan and its mandate is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Pakistani students.

She said that the task force has already visited seven universities in Wuhan where they have individually met every Pakistani student besides interacting with the administration of those universities.

When asked about the arrests of Pakistani nationals in Saudi Arabia, the spokesperson strongly rejected the impression that it is a Pakistani specific drive. She highlighted that Saudi Arabia carries out the exercise against illegal expatriates and workers every year before the holy month of Ramzan. She said that Saudi Authorities have also arrested nationals of several other countries as part of this drive.

She said that Pakistan’s consulate in Jeddah remains in constant touch with the Saudi authorities on this matter and is taking all possible measures within the local rules and regulations to protect the interests of the Pakistani community. She added that Pakistan’s fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia are of strategic importance and remain strong and dynamic. She further said that baseless reporting should be avoided at all costs.