ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday said it would not succumb to any ‘demand’ by the United States in the wake of negotiated settlement as proposed by the US President Donald Trump for Afghanistan’s peace.
“We will be part of negotiations, but without surrendering to any US demand,” Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal said here at the weekly press briefing.
The response came as the spokesman was reminded of Pakistan earlier releasing Taliban leader Mullah Baradar in October following the previous visit of US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to Islamabad.
“It will be negotiations only, not demands. We will move forward through talks, continuing with our stance of no-military solution to Afghan problem,” he said.
President Trump in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan had sought Islamabad’s assistance and facilitation in achieving a negotiated settlement on Afghanistan, followed by the visit of Ambassador Khalilzad.
The spokesman termed the recent move by the US as “heartening”, which “registered and acknowledged Pakistan’s stance for the peaceful settlement of the Afghan conflict.
He denied confirming the reports of Taliban leaders currently present in Islamabad for talks.
To a question whether Taliban sought China or Russia as international guarantor for the settlement, he said he “cannot go into intricate details”.
He categorically rejected the impression that groundbreaking of Kartarpur Corridor would lead to putting the Kashmir issue on back-burner.
“Kashmir is our core issue, and no other development at Pakistan-India front can sideline it,” he said, adding the Kashmir dispute would be addressed in accordance with the United Nations’ resolutions and the aspirations of Kashmiris.
He said the Kartarpur Corridor was a step taken in view of religious sentiments of Sikhs and “should not be regarded an attempt to claim credit”.
Muhammad Faisal said India’s reciprocity was important in response to Pakistan’s initiatives for peace between the two countries, adding the India’s attitude was the “biggest impediment in the way to move forward”.
About a recent reward of US $5 million announced by the United States against the facilitators involved in Mumbai attack, the spokesman said the matter was “subjudice and complex” with regular hearings being conducted in Anti Terrorism Court.
“The Law of land will take its course and I can assure you that justice would be done,” he said.
He dismissed the notion that the map shown at Chinese national television while airing the news of terror incident at Chinese Consulate, Karachi showed Kashmir as part of India.
“Instead, the China Global Television Network showed Kashmir in white shade depicting disputed territory and Pakistan and India in brown colour to make distinction,” he clarified.