Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz after attending Heart of Asia conference in India, said that blaming any country for terrorism would not bring peace in the region.
Addressing an ‘emergency’ press conference in Islamabad, Sartaj said that he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other on the sidelines of the conference.
He said that Indian Indian media tried to put pressure on Pakistan in the context of terrorism during the conference.
“Everyone whom I met at the Heart of Asia conference appreciated us attending the conference despite the situation across the Line of Control,” he said.
Sartaj Aziz said that security arrangements in India were quite strange since they were not allowed to meet or speak with anyone.
“The Indian security officer would not allow us to meet anyone at the hotel,” he said.
Aziz said that Pakistan was also a victim of terrorism hence it would not allow any miscreants or terrorists to conduct nefarious activities from its soil. He said that the Indian representatives tried not to have the issue of Kashmir discussed at the conference.
He said that during his meeting with the Afghan President, he had assured him of Pakistan’s full cooperation and tried to highlight the importance of ensuring the functioning of an effective monitoring system at the border.
Condemning Ashraf Ghani’s statement, he said that the security situation in Afghanistan was tense, adding that Pakistan will not allow its land to be used against anyone.
Sartaj said that he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and discussed TAPI gas project.
He said that meeting with Zarif was constructive.
In sheer violation of diplomatic norms, Sartaj was stopped by the Indian government from holding a decided press conference after Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar earlier.
Pakistani journalists mistreated
Indian officials also mistreated the Pakistan journalists who went to India to cover the event by stopping them from talking to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit.
“No one can stop me from speaking to these people,” Abdul Basit scolded the Indian official. “These are Pakistani journalists and these are my people. No one can stop me from speaking to them,” he said.
Embarrassed, the Indian official backed off and apologised a couple of times to Abdul Basit.
The Pakistani High Commissioner to India is in Amritsar for the Heart of Asia conference.
“blame games” will not help toward achieving peace
Earlier, Sartaj Aziz said concerted action is needed for peaceful resolution of regional conflicts and “blame games” will not help toward achieving peace.
Aziz said the peaceful resolution of unresolved conflicts would boost regional cooperation and communication.
Eluding to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s allegations that Pakistan was giving “sanctuary” to terrorists, Aziz said concerted policy and action, not blame games, are needed to establish peace in Afghanistan. Such blame games will not bring peace to Afghanistan, he said.
Aziz said that Pakistan’s attendance at the Conference, despite escalating tensions with India, shows Pakistan’s resolve to establish peace in Afghanistan and the overall region.
On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister and Afghan President jointly inaugurated the two-day summit being attended by around 40 foreign ministers and dignitaries of 14 participating countries in the Indian city of Amritsar.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was launched in 2011 with the objective to boost economic and security cooperation.
Its members include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the United Arab Emirates.
The initiative has the support of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the United States.