No intel shared by US on militants moving to Syria: FO

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Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam on Thursday said the United States had not provided any intelligence to the government which could establish that militants were travelling from Pakistan and towards Syria.

Aslam was responding to questions regarding a report recently published in The New York Times which had cited CIA chief John Brennan as saying that dozens of al Qaeda militants based in Pakistan were seeking to establish bases in Syria to plan attacks on Europe and the United States.

She was speaking at the weekly briefing for media representatives at the Foreign Office.

Her statement came a day after the NYT report quoted Brennan as telling a US House of Representatives panel that classified intelligence assessments showed Al Qaeda planners travelled from Pakistan to Syria in order to lay the foundation for future strikes against the US and its European allies.

Kashmir and Indo-Pak relations

On the issue of Kashmir, Aslam said the matter should be resolved through dialogue.

The response came days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked the US to play its role in normalising ties between Pakistan and India.

The premier had alleged that India was hesitating to resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally, adding that if India was not willing to include a third force in resolving the matter, then the US will have to play its role in ensuring a normal situation in the region.

Responding to a question at today’s briefing, the spokeswoman said unfortunately Pakistan was an election issue in India, adding that the trend of levelling allegations against Pakistan from across the border should come to an end.

Kidnapped Iranian guards

Regarding the killing of one of the five abducted Iranian guards, Aslam reiterated Pakistan’s position that the kidnapped men were not being held on Pakistani soil.

She said the guards were abducted from inside Iran and Pakistan had not found any trace of the kidnapped men on its territory.

Aslam however said that Pakistan had assured Iran of full cooperation in case of any assistance required.

Five Iranian border guards were kidnapped on Feb 6 from the Pak-Iran border region by Iranian militant group Jaish al-Adl which is accused of having sanctuaries in Balochistan.