Pakistan awaits Indian response on missing ex-army official, says FO

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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday stated that a response is yet to be received from the Indian government regarding Lt Colonel (r) Habib Zahir, who went missing in Nepal earlier this year.

FO spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal informed this during his weekly press briefing. He added that the website that offered Habib a job was operated from India.

Habib, who had been offered a job, had been asked to visit Kathmandu, Nepal, for the interview on April 6, 2017. Travel records had shown that Habib travelled to Oman on April 5, from where he boarded a flight to Nepal. Following his arrival in Nepal, he had gone missing from the Nepal-India border.

Saad Habib, son of the missing retired officer, suspects the involvement of anti-state elements in the kidnapping of his father and lodged an FIR with the Rawat police on April 8.

FO CONDEMNS CEASEFIRE VIOLATIONS:

During his weekly briefing, Dr Faisal denounced India’s continuing violations of the 2003 ceasefire agreement at the Line of Control (LoC). He highlighted that India has violated the agreement 1,300 times during this year resulting in the deaths of 50 civilians and 165 people being injured.

Referring to the Kashmir issue, the FO spokesperson stated that there are three stakeholders in the dispute, adding that it would be impossible to reach a decision without engaging all three in mediation talks.

The spokesperson said that various statements by the Indian government give credence to India’s opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

‘INDO-PAK MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION NEEDED’:

Pakistan and India need to engage in meaningful discussion on confidence-building measures, arms race and strategic stability in South Asia.

“Indian xenophobic posture is threatening regional peace and tranquillity. Also, developments like testing of missiles underscore the need for two countries to engage in meaningful discussion,” he added.

The FO spokesperson also clarified that Pakistan had allowed Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife to meet him on humanitarian grounds.

In response to a question, he said Pakistan was in touch with SAARC Secretariat and member states for early holding of a summit of the organisation in Pakistan.

He said the presence of terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan was a reality.

He said Pakistan appreciated steps taken by the UK government in connection with anti-Pakistan propaganda through London cabs, which was a violation of UN Charter.

He said Pakistan and the United States were engaged in a comprehensive dialogue to bridge the gap between perceptions of the two countries on different issues.

He said two sides were trying to reach a consensus on how to move forward.

He said the process of renewed engagement started when Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met American leadership on sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York.

“This was followed by an exchange of several visits by senior officials of the two countries and delegation level talks,” he added.

He said the US Congress had authorised reimbursement of 700 million dollars under Coalition Support Fund.

 

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