Pakistan News

Pakistan to support Saudi-led military alliance while maintaining close contact with Iran

Pakistan to support Saudi-led military alliance while maintaining close contact with Iran

Pakistan highlighted its "successful counter-terrorism operations and the comprehensive National Action Plan" during the first meeting of the defence ministers of countries involved in the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) held last Sunday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said in his weekly briefing on Thursday.

"The participants discussed ways to boost cooperation for combating terrorism through intelligence sharing, capacity building, joint exercises and media campaign," the FO said regarding the agenda of the Saudi-led Islamic military coalition.

Dr Faisal said Pakistan had expressed its willingness to share its intellectual, informational, counter-financing and military experience and capabilities through the forum of the IMCTC, a move "aimed at enhancing the ability of its member states to counter the scourge of terrorism and extremism."

On a question on whether Iran objected to Pakistan's involvement in the alliance, he said Pakistan remains in close contact with the Iranian leadership at all levels, recalling that the latest contact between the two nations had come when Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Iran for detailed consultations earlier this month.

"Pakistan has consistently raised serious concerns about these developments as they negatively impact regional security and stability," the FO spokesperson said on the recent launch of BrahMos, the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile, by India.

"This launch is yet another manifestation of the Indian negative trends [sic]," he said.

"Pakistan continues to stress the need for a meaningful dialogue for confidence building, avoidance of arms race and promotion of strategic stability in South Asia," he said, adding that: "Pakistan's proposal for a strategic restraint regime for South Asia remains on the table."

Dr Faisal said that the recent increase in missile tests by India after its membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) "demonstrates its policy of duplicity" as it had refrained from any such tests in the period before receiving the membership, likely to help its chances of gaining it.

The FO also informed that the prime minister is currently in Russia for the 16th meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government (CHG) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The premier is there on the invitation of Russian Prime Minister D.A. Medvedev.

Pakistan became a full member of the SCO earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif is in Baku, Azerbaijan, to lead the Pakistan delegation at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia.

He will make a statement on behalf of Pakistan at the conference on Friday, the FO added.

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