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43 percent of Afghanistan’s territory is a safe haven for terrorists: FO

17 November, 2017

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Foreign Office (FO) Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal on Thursday said that 43 percent of Afghanistan’s territory had become a safe haven for terrorists.

The spokesperson expressed these views during his weekly briefing. “We expect Afghanistan and [the United States’] Resolute Missions to eliminate anti–Pakistan terrorist sanctuaries and ensure that attacks against Pakistani posts do not take place,” he added, condemning the recent attacks on Pakistani checkposts from the Afghan side of the border in which two soldiers were martyred. To a question, the spokesperson said that Pakistan and the United States were engaged in a comprehensive dialogue to bridge the gap between perceptions of the two countries on different issues. He said that the two sides were trying to reach a consensus on how to move forward.

He said the process of renewed engagement started when Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met the American leadership on sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. This was followed by an exchange of several visits by senior officials of the two countries and delegation-level talks. He said the US Congress had authorised reimbursement of $700 million under the Coalition Support Fund. The spokesman said that Pakistan also wanted resumption of the “strategic dialogue” between the two countries that had wider avenues for cooperation. Dr Faisal also said that Pakistan demanded strong action from Britain against those using its soil for anti-Pakistan propaganda. He also appreciated Britain’s immediate action against anti-Pakistan advertisement on the cabs in London. He said Pakistan believed that similar action would be taken by the British authorities on similar advertisements on buses and billboards.

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