Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Afghanistan: FM Asif

China skirts Masood Azhar issue after BRICS declaration
China skirts Masood Azhar issue after BRICS declaration names Jaish-e-Mohammad
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07 September, 2017

China had opposed India's efforts to include Pakistan-based terror groups in the declaration issued after the last BRICS Summit in Goa.

Khan said the Pakistani foreign minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, plans to travel to Washington for official talks after consulting key regional partners, including China, Russia, Iran and Turkey.

The announcement came a day after BRICS nations expressed concern over threat posed by terror groups, including those based in Pakistan.

"We have already said that there are no terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan", Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir told a meeting of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defence, claiming that 40 per cent of Afghanistan was a safe hideout for militants.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will visit China on Friday as the two friendly Countries look to further consolidate their cooperation with regard to development projects especially multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The declaration of BRICS, of which China is a prominent member, had expressed "concern" over the security situation in the region and the violence caused by the Taliban, ISIS, al-Qaeda and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) active in China's Xinjiang and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, LeT, JeM, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

India has always been a dominant theme between Pakistan, especially after the 1962 India-China war.

Asif also said Pakistan needs to question whether it had fully implemented its National Action Plan (NAP) on terrorism that was framed after a Taliban attack on an army-run in Peshawar in 2014 killed almost 150 people.

More news: No Rohingya will be allowed to enter Bangladesh

The minister indicated that Pakistan could no longer afford to "test" friends such as China. China's endorsement of BRICS declaration, which is also seen as a significant diplomatic victory for India, was sharply criticised by a Chinese think tank, saying that it would strain close relations between China and Pakistan.

Trump did not outline what actions he might order to pressure Islamabad to move against the alleged terrorist sanctuaries.

While the BRICS statement has not named Islamabad directly, numerous groups cited in the declaration find safe haven in the country.

New Delhi also has accused Pakistan-based religious groups of supporting militancy in Indian Kashmir.

He lamented that worldwide community failed to acknowledge Pakistan's anti-terrorism operations.

Washington and Kabul have long accused Islamabad of turning a blind eye to the issue of safe havens for Afghan militant groups.


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