Pakistan News

FO unaware of fresh proof against RAW

FO unaware of fresh proof against RAW

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office appeared ignorant on Thursday about any fresh evidence of the Indian intelligence agency RAW’s growing involvement with terrorism in the country – something that prompted army’s top brass to flag the issue at its monthly corps commanders meeting recently.

Responding to a question whether the government was taking up the issue of RAW’s support of terrorist activities in Pakistan with the Indian government, newly-appointed FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said the matter had been discussed with New Delhi in the past.

He, however, had nothing to say if it was being raised again, particularly after the military leaders went public with their concerns.

“We have been taking up the issue of Indian involvement in various parts of Pakistan from time to time, particularly when we have talks with them. I would like to recall that after the visit of the Indian foreign secretary to Pakistan in March, the foreign secretary had briefed the media about the Indian involvement in Fata and Balochistan,” Mr Khalilullah said.

A corps commanders meeting in an unusual statement earlier this week said: “The conference took serious notice of RAW’s involvement in whipping up terrorism in Pakistan.”

Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif had almost three weeks ago also pointed to involvement of “foreign intelligence agencies” in unrest in Balochistan.

Military officials in their background conversations had said that there was fresh intelligence about RAW’s growing involvement in terrorist acts in Karachi, Fata and Balochistan.

In reply to a question about an Indian letter to the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda sanctions committee on principal Mumbai attack accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s release on bail by a Pakistani court, the spokesman said all requirements of the committee had already been complied with.

“The sanctions committee required international travel ban, arms embargo and freezing of assets. All these measures have been taken and are highlighted during our interaction with our international partners,” Mr Khalilullah said.

The sanctions committee is set to take up the Indian letter shortly.

Lakhvi was listed by the sanctions committee in December 2008 for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts of activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of” Lashkar-i-Taiba and Al Qaeda.

The Indian position is that his release on bail constituted violation of the provisions of the sanctions committee.

AFGHANISTAN: Reacting to critical statements about Pakistan by Afghan leaders during a recent parliamentary debate on Taliban’s Spring Offensive, the spokesman said: “Pakistan is doing all it can to promote peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.”

He maintained that Pakistan was making “all possible efforts to promote cooperation with Afghanistan that is mutually beneficial” and it would continue with this policy.

Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar had told the Afghan parliament that the issue had been raised with Pakistani leaders asking them to destroy the Taliban sanctuaries.

Mr Atmar further said the militants had safe havens across the border, but those were not being targeted.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is planning to visit Kabul in coming weeks.

Mr Khalilullah said: “The objective of the visit always is to further promote bilateral relationship and understanding and explore new avenues of cooperation.”

Answering a question about PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to Kabul, he said the government encouraged political contacts between the two countries.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2015

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