Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No state institution involved in terrorism (thenews)

Friday, January 02, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday hit out strongly at the criticism
that some elements in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were
involved in acts of terrorism and were not in control of the
government. "Pakistan's government and state institutions are
committed to the war against terror. Therefore, vilifying Pakistan or
for that matter any of its state institutions on this score is
unwarranted and unacceptable. In Pakistan's view, in the given
situation, what is needed is more accurate alignment in the
perception and interests of Afghanistan, Pakistan, US/Nato and
countries in the region that have stakes in the struggle against
terrorism. It will be helpful to win the war against terror besides
dispelling mutual misgivings among them. We have enhanced our
engagement with all concerned," said the spokesman at the Foreign
Office at an online media briefing. The spokesman took exception to
charges of any terrorist infrastructure on the Pakistani soil. "There
is no terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan. Terrorism is a global
issue. Terrorist elements are found in every society and religion.
Pakistan, India and other countries of the region need to follow a
cooperative, and not accusatory, approach to jointly deal with this
menace," he said. The spokesman said Pakistan as a responsible state
was taking all requisite steps to counter terrorism. The
international community recognises and appreciates the sacrifices
made by Pakistan in combating terrorism. "As for the reprehensible
Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistan is ready to cooperate with India in
investigating the incident. We are awaiting a response from the
Indian side to our proposals. Both countries should work together to
prevent acts of terrorism in the region. This pernicious phenomenon
requires international cooperation at every level," he pointed out.
The spokesman, in reply to a query, said it would be unfortunate if a
military confrontation took place. "War or any level of military
confrontation can have disastrous consequences for the region.
Pakistan will not accept political or military coercion. Although we
have made it clear that Pakistan stands ready to take every possible
step to defend itself, we have counselled and exercised restraint and
responsibility, " he replied. Referring to the recent visit of Chinese
Deputy Foreign Minister He Yafei, the special envoy of his
government, the spokesman said he conveyed China's commitment to
working towards reducing tension between Pakistan and India and
resolving the outstanding issues through consultation and
cooperation. "We welcome the Chinese role and proactive efforts to
avert the crisis in South Asia from spiralling out of control," he
added. The spokesman avoided giving a direct reply when asked if the
relations between Pakistan and India had become hostage to the Mumbai
attacks but said it was India that had placed a "pause" on the
composite dialogue. "Pakistan believes that sustained engagement and
dialogue is necessary to allay each other's concerns. Breakdown of
dialogue only works to the advantage of terrorists," said the
spokesman. He said the government did not want to indulge in blame
game in spite of the statements coming from across the border in this
regard. "Pakistan believes that the two countries need to demonstrate
restraint and responsibility. For its part, Pakistan has sincerely
offered its cooperation in investigating the Mumbai tragedy. We await
response to our concrete proposals regarding joint investigations and
high-level visit. We also await evidence from India to enable our own
investigations to make progress," said the spokesman. The spokesman
did not completely deny when asked if foreign capitals had shared any
evidence on the Mumbai attacks but commented that they were waiting
for concrete evidence. "We await any concrete information or evidence
relating to the Mumbai incident. We have offered to India joint
investigations. India's external affairs minister has said they have
not shared evidence with Pakistan and that they are still
investigating, " he said. Pakistan says it has handed over a list of
Indian prisoners in Pakistan to an officer of the Indian High
Commission in Islamabad at the Foreign Office on Thursday. The Indian
side assured to hand over its list shortly. In accordance with
Article-1 of the Agreement on Consular Access between Pakistan and
India signed on May 21, 2008, both countries are required to exchange
lists of prisoners in each other's custody on the 1st of January and
the 1st of July every year. The spokesman, in response to a query on
the situation in the Middle East, said the president, the prime
minister and the foreign minister had condemned the atrocities
committed by Israel. The OIC ministerial conference on the situation
in Gaza will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan
will be represented by the minister of state for foreign affairs in
the conference. "We believe that violence aggravates conflicts. The
current situation in Gaza could lead to further escalation of
tensions in the region and undermine efforts for promoting a just and
equitable resolution of the Palestinian issue," he added. Pakistan
calls upon the international community to work for the resolution of
the Palestine issue in accordance with the relevant UN Security
Council resolutions, the Arab Peace Plan and other international
peace efforts, he said.

http://www.thenews. com.pk/updates. asp?id=63806

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