28 Afghan Taliban released, more to be set free soon: FO
15 February, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it had so far released 28 Afghan Taliban members from the jails while more will be released in near future in order to give a boost to the ongoing reconciliation process.
Foreign Office spokesperson Moazzam Khan on Thursday told a weekly press briefing that his country wants peace and security in the neighbouring country and is ready to extending every possible support to an Afghan-led reconciliation process.
However, the FO cautioned, that the US pullout from the war-torn country must be in a 'responsible way', which helps ensure peace and security in the region.
"Pakistan wants that the withdrawal should be in a responsible way," he said.
To a question about opening of an office by Taliban in Doha, the FO spokesperson said though Pakistan is not involved in that process, it sees the move a step in the right direction that will help achieve objectives of peace and security in Afghanistan.
The spokesman said a conference of Ulema from Afghanistan and Pakistan will take place in Kabul on March 10 and arrangements in this regard were being finalised by the representatives of Ulema from both the countries. He said Pakistan supports the initiative, but some reservations of Pakistani Ulema regarding the conference must be removed amicably.
The spokesman clarified that the foreign office had no connection to JUI-F leader Fazlur Rahman's visit to Qatar. Fazl has travelled to Doha on his own, he said.
To a question about dual nationality of Dr Tahirul Qadri, the spokesman said any Pakistani citizen can hold dual nationality and have passports of two countries under the law.
The spokesperson dismissed Indian concerns regarding Pakistan's decision to transfer management of Gawadar port to China. He said it was a matter between Pakistan and China and no other country needs to be worried about it.
He said China was an important country in the region, which can also play an important role in the Afghan peace process.
On Kashmir, the spokesman said there was no shift in Islamabad's stance on the issue. Pakistan wants to resolve all pending issues with India, including Kashmir, through a meaningful dialogue process, he said. "We want normal trade relations with India. We want to resolve all issues through dialogue."
The spokesman said Pakistan has conveyed its concern on the execution of Kashmiri leader Afzal Guru to India. He said Islamabad had called upon New Delhi to show restraint in dealing with demonstrations being held in Held Kashmir in protest against Guru's execution. He said a number of questions had been raised on the judicial process followed in the Guru case.
The spokesman said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be travelling to Pakistan on Feb 16 on a two-day visit. He said Pakistan supports resolution of the Middle East issue. He said Israel and Palestine should accept each other, which was vital for the regional peace.
To a question on recent nuclear tests by North Korea, the spokesperson said that every country has the right to do what North Korea did, but international responsibilities should also be fulfilled.