ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz while speaking to media on Saturday said the United States (US) should refrain from fanning instability in South Asia.
The National Security Advisor’s (NSA) statement follows international media reports which claim the US is ready to help Pakistan join the Nuclear Suppliers Group if it accepts certain restrictions on its nuclear programme.
Additionally, a US media report last Thursday claimed that American special operations analysts – just days before the Oct 3 US air attack on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz – were gathering intelligence on the facility because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity.
The reports have surfaced just days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s October 20 visit to Washington, where he is expected to discuss the nuclear issue with US President Barack Obama.
Sartaj Aziz rejected the notion that allegations regarding the Pakistani operative’s presence in the hospital would impact talks with the super power.
He said Pakistan had already denied allegations implicating a Pakistani operative in Kunduz, adding that “the world knows Pakistan is committed to peace and prosperity in Afghanistan”.
The NSA said that the purpose of talks between Pakistan and the US during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington later this week will not be to reach a compromise on the extent of Pakistan’s defence capabilities, but to discuss nuclear safety.
Sartaj said “Our main priority is to protect national interest and security, and we will not compromise on this.”
He said efforts were under way to make Pakistan a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and expressed hope that both Pakistan and India would be accepted as members of the NSG together.
Sartaj Aziz said the US can maintain whatever kind of relations it wishes to with India, but at a time when Pak-India relations are tense, the super power should not increase strategic and conventional imbalance in the region to the extent that there is a threat to regional security.
He said that many countries, including the US, wanted Pakistan and India to resolve their issues through dialogue, but for that it was important there was no regional imbalance.
The NSA said that Pakistan would welcome the steps the US took in order to improve the situation in Afghanistan.
He said US leadership had indicated an interest in dialogue with Afghanistan, but the decision ultimately rested with Afghan leadership. If the US wanted Pakistan to mediate the process, they would be ready to cooperate.
Sartaj said core issues to be discussed during the upcoming talks with the US include Pak-India relations, restoration of peace in Afghanistan and trade and investment opportunities.
Pakistan condemns attack in Saudi Arabia
Pakistan on Sunday condemned the terrorist attack on a religious gathering in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Saihat (Al Qatif) on Friday, which resulted in the death of five persons and caused injuries to several others.
The FO spokesman said government and the people of Pakistan convey deep condolences to the brotherly people and government of Saudi Arabia as well as the bereaved families over the loss of precious lives and pray for quick recovery of those wounded in the attack.
“We reaffirm our full support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and are confident that under the able leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques the menace of terrorism will be overcome”, the spokesman said.
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The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily