Pakistan akss Afghanistan to hand over TTP chief

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday once again demanded of the neighboring Afghanistan to hand over the Pakistani Taliban chief, Maulvi Fazullah who is hiding in Afghanistan.

Speaking to media representatives here, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said the terrorist attacks from Afghan soil was a serious issue and Pakistan was in touch with Afghan authorities for better management of the border.

He said installation of biometric verification system on border crossing points can ensure better management of the border.

The top Pakistani diplomat stated in categorical terms that Pakistan will fully protect its border and retaliate to any fire from the other side, adding that terrorists were common enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan and both the countries should fully cooperate in tackling them.

On India-Pakistan talks, he said foreign secretaries of the two countries are scheduled to meet on August 25.

Responding to a question about internal situation of the country, Sartaj Aziz said the democratic system faces no threat from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) long marches on the federal capital.

“Continuity of democracy is vital for the progress and prosperity of the country and no extra constitutional step will be tolerated,” he said.

Earlier, addressing a seminar, ‘Building China Pakistan Community of Shared Destiny in the New Era’, the foreign advisor said that friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

The trajectory of friendship and cooperation between the two countries has moved steadily upwards and has crossed a new threshold in the past fourteen months, he added.

Aziz said Pakistan-China cooperation has now expanded from political and defense fields to industry, energy, water and power, agriculture and infrastructure projects. “Both the countries are making conscious efforts to further improve cooperation in joint ventures , high tech industry, telecom and manufacturing.”

The PML-N stalwart said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a landmark project which will connect China with Karachi and Gwadar. He said Pakistan and China were discussing a number of mega projects under the rubric of Economic Corridor in several fields like energy, infrastructure and connectivity which would revitalise economy of the country.

Referring to the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the war against terrorism, the adviser on foreign affairs said the operation launched in North Waziristan against terrorists was proceeding successfully.

A large part of the tribal agency has been cleared of the militants and their infrastructure has been destroyed by the Pakistani armed forces, he added.

Expressing the resolve to eliminate all local and foreign terrorist groups, Sartaj Aziz said the government’s objective was to establish writ of the state and to not let our territory be used against any other country.

He said security of all foreign nationals especially Chinese working in Pakistan was a priority of the government.

“Those attacking Chinese experts working in Pakistan, want to drive a wedge between the two countries. We will not let them succeed in their nefarious designs,” said the seasoned diplomat, adding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has issued specific instructions to all concerned agencies to provide foolproof security to the Chinese citizens.

On relations with India, Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan believes in peaceful neighborhood and has reached out to India for improved bilateral ties.