Jan 31, 2014, 10:50 AM
News Code: 2626899
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Pakistan says has no concerns at Indian role in Afghanistan

Islamabad, Jan 31, IRNA -- Pakistan has said it has no concerns at Indian role in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan is a sovereign state. If it has cooperation with another country, it’s their bilateral matter. Many countries, including India are engaged in reconstruction and development work inside Afghanistan,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ms. Tasnim Aslam said here.



“We believe that leads to stability but at the same time we have very clearly articulated our position that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used against Pakistan’s interest. Our position and concerns in this regard have been conveyed and they are understood by all stakeholders,” she told her weekly briefing when asked about reports that Russia and India have planned a joint assessment of security in Afghanistan.



To a question she confirmed the Indian Commerce Minister will pay a three-day visit to Pakistan from February 16th. The visit will coincide with the India show in Lahore which is a trade fair.



The Pakistani spokesperson welcomed a recent statement from the Indian Minister for External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, who says that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to improve relations with India.



“We welcome that statement,” Ms Aslam said, adding , “we have always said that Pakistan and India need to resume the dialogue process and have meaningful, result oriented discussions on all the disputes and issues particularly Kashmir.”



To a question about the progress on the cross-border trade standoff between Pakistan and India over reported smuggling of narcotics in bags of brown sugar into Indian-controlled Kashmir, she said investigations are going on and to resume the normal trade.



The truck and bus service across Kashmir were suspended last week after Pakistan reportedly detained some drivers of the Indian trucks in retaliation to the arrest of one Pakistani driver by the Indian authorities.



“Discussions are on and we would hope that there would be solution and Intra-Kashmir trade would be resumed soon,” the Pakistani spokesperson said.



When asked about the U.S. demands for the release of a Pakistani doctor who had helped the CIA gets information about Osama bin Laden, she said the issue of Dr Shakil Afridi is Pakistan internal matter and his fate will be decided by own courts.



“As for Shakil Afridi, he is not an issue of discussion with any country. It’s an internal matter of Pakistan. You would have seen the statement the Advisor made in Washington that he will be dealt in accordance with the Pakistani law,” the spokesperson said.



To a question about U.S. drone mission in the Pakistani tribal region, she said remarks by President Barrack Obama on the issue in his Wednesday’s State of the Union Address is “an acknowledgment that drone attacks are not always producing positive results.”



President Obama had stated, “America must move off permanent war footing, that’s why I have imposed prudent limits on the use of drones. We will not be safer if people abroad believe we strike within their countries without regard for the consequences”.



Ms. Aslam said Obama’s stance seems to be an acknowledgment of Pakistan’s point of view that “we have been conveying bilaterally to the US and to the International community in the multilateral forums and also that drone attacks are counter-productive. We would welcome it.”

**1424