FO rubbishes NATO official’s claims of ‘Taliban bases’ in Pakistan


Spokesperson says enquiry into anti-Pakistan ads underway by UK government

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday rubbished the allegations leveled by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, saying: “There are no organised bases of terrorist organisations in the country and such fallacious assertions are counter-productive [to the peace process in the region].”

On Tuesday, Stoltenberg had said Taliban bases in Pakistan pose a “big challenge” to efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

During a weekly briefing, FO spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said that Pakistan categorically rejects baseless allegations leveled by the NATO secretary general.

Claiming that there are multiple actors working in Afghanistan and the nexus between RAW and other terrorist groups have been involved in activities to subvert Pakistan, the spokesperson reiterated the resolve to confront all these activities at the diplomatic front.

The FO spokesperson further said that Pakistan had taken up the martyrdom of Nayyer Iqbal Rana with Afghanistan and had received assurances that a thorough investigation into the matter will take place.

Responding to a question regarding an anti-Pakistan campaign using transport in London and similar posters put in Geneva earlier, FO spokesperson stated that the paraphernalia had been removed and both countries had assured such acts will not be repeated in future.

He said Pakistan conveyed its concern on the display of anti-Pakistan advertising on London Cabs, both to the British High Commission in Islamabad and the Foreign Commonwealth Office in the UK. The Transport for London (TfL) authorities, after taking suitable action for removal of the anti-Pakistan material, have initiated an enquiry into the matter and assured disciplinary action against the perpetrators, the spokesperson added.

Pakistan appreciates the prompt steps taken against such propaganda which impinges the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan. “We are aware of the sinister intentions behind such malicious campaigns,” the statement said, adding “these [acts] should not be repeated anywhere.”

On Friday following the emergence of posters, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua had summoned the British High Commissioner in Pakistan Thomas Drew and protested the display of “anti-Pakistan slogans”.

Earlier this year during the United Nation General Assembly meeting, similar posters had appeared in the Swiss city of Geneva, irking Pakistani people and government to a large extent.

Pakistan also launched a complaint to the Swiss authorities, saying “Any notion of ‘Free Baluchistan’ is a flagrant attack on [the] sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan.”

The Foreign Office spokesperson had blamed India for the emergence of the anti-Pakistan posters in Geneva, Switzerland. Moreover, Pakistan had linked the posters to the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which, he said, is a “listed terrorist organisation under the laws of Pakistan and other countries, including the United Kingdom.”





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