No plans for Nawaz-Modi meeting on sidelines of UN General Assembly: FO

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Thursday it has neither sought any meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session nor has a request been received from the other side.
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam, during her weekly briefing in Islamabad, said, “Pakistan wants to resolve all the disputes with India through negotiations for peace and development in the region.”
Aslam clarified that India cancelled the talks between foreign secretaries of the two neighbouring countries on the pretext of the Pakistani high commissioner’s meeting with Hurriyat leaders.
Referring to a decision of the Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan to lodge a formal protest with India through the Foreign Office over lack of relief efforts in Indian-administered Kashmir, Aslam said, “Pakistan is very much concerned over the plight of flood affected people in occupied Kashmir and has offered assistance to India in relief activities.”
She said every Pakistani felt the pain and sufferings of Kashmiris and were ready to help.
“Even Azad Kashmir’s government has appealed that the LOC should be opened to undertake relief activities.”
In response to a question about allegations levelled by outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai against Pakistan, the spokesperson said that Pakistan was looking forward to working with the new Afghan leadership.
She added that Pakistan wants to resolve issues of terrorist sanctuaries on Afghan soil and cross border attacks through dialogue.
Further, when a journalist brought up the issue of drone attacks in light of a strike in North Waziristan on September 24, which killed at least 10 suspected militants, Aslam said “Pakistan is raising this issue at different forums to further strengthen public opinion against drone strikes.”
She added that a resolution was adopted at the UN Human Rights Council which termed drone strikes as illegal, having no sanction under international law.
“Both countries are in contact to reschedule the visit at the earliest. However, no dates have yet been fixed,” Aslam said, regarding the postponement in the Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan.
When asked the reason for a delay in Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline, Aslam said both the countries had signed an agreement under which Iran was to provide a soft loan of $500 million to build the pipeline of Pakistan’s side; however because of sanctions, it could not fulfil the commitment.
“Hence, Pakistan could not make any progress,” she said. “Both sides, however, are committed to the project, and are looking for new ways to make that possible.”
In reply to a question if there was a planned meeting between Pakistani and Iranian leaders in New York, Aslam said Sartaj Aziz had met Iran’s foreign minister on Wednesday, while another meeting was not scheduled.

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