Pakistan’s diplomacy led to selective proscribed groups list being dropped from HoA declaration

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his family being arranged on humanitarian grounds: FO spokesperson

Mona Khan

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokesperson, Dr Mohammad Faisal said on Thursday that due to Pakistan’s effective and successful diplomacy, the Heart of Asia (HoA)-IP members had agreed to drop the selected list of proscribed groups from the Baku Declaration.

During a weekly news briefing, Dr Faisal said the matter would now be referred to the Working Group on Counter Terrorism to come up with a comprehensive list of all terrorist groups in the Heart of Asia Region.

“Ever since a list of selected proscribed groups made it to the outcome document (Amritsar Declaration) of HoA-IP Ministerial Conference in December 2016, India celebrated it as a huge diplomatic success over Pakistan and started misusing the list for political point scoring against Pakistan.”

According to Dr Faisal, it was with a positive intent that Pakistan had agreed to the list as a part of the Amritsar Declaration. “However, the subsequent Indian behaviour, trying to use the listing of these groups to malign Pakistan forced Pakistan to suggest a comprehensive list - of all terrorist groups irrespective of their ideology, religion and geography etc.”

The spokesperson added that in the recently held HoA-IP Conference in Baku on 1 December 2017, Pakistan emphasised the principle that selective listing should be avoided and all terrorist groups should be condemned.

The spokesperson condemned the recent missile attack on Saudi Arabia.

Rejecting the United States’ allegations against Pakistan, Dr Faisal said that Pakistan has rendered countless sacrifices in the war against terrorism and taken indiscriminate action against terrorists.

Pakistan rejects US allegations in the latter’s recently announced national security policy, the spokesperson reiterated.

On the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the FO spokesperson said Pakistan strongly supports the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) stance on Jerusalem and will vote on the matter in principle.

Kulbhushan Jadhav 

On the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Foreign Office spokesperson said  Indian spy's mother and wife were being provided with a meeting in light of Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds.

"Pakistan has accepted the Indian request. Pakistan has issued visas to both the ladies. The meeting will be held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We await further details from India in this regard." 

Dr Faisal told reporters that Pakistan was ready to permit media interaction with the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav and was awaiting an Indian decision in this regard.

In response to a question on Jadhav's execution, the spokesperson replied: "Let me assure you that the Commander is under no threat of immediate execution and his mercy petitions are still pending."