Pakistan desires early political solution to Yemen crisis: FO

ISLAMABAD, Apr 23 (INP): The Pakistan Foreign Office on Thursday said that it hoped that the step taken by the Saudi government to normalise the situation in Yemen will help resolve the issue in a political way.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, while briefing media in Islamabad today said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has gone to Saudi Arabia to have consultations with Saudi leadership to find out an amicable solution to the issue.

Tasnim Aslam said Saudi Arabia is a close friend and a true brother which has always stood by Pakistan in difficult times. She said regular engagements with them on Yemen situation is an effort to try to understand their perspective on the issue.

She said Pakistan welcomes the Saudi decision to halt air attacks in Yemen and hoped this step will help restore peace in the area.

The spokesperson said that no country should interfere in bilateral ties of other countries.
Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan has urged the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take proactive measures to resolve the situation in Yemen. She said Islamabad is in contact with different Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia for early solution to the crisis. The visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia is part of efforts to achieve the objective.

The Spokesperson said Pakistan is encouraged by the Saudi Arabian decision to end airstrikes in Yemen. We hope that this move will lead to stability and commencement of political process, she added. She expressed the confidence that the efforts being made for peaceful solution to Yemen conflict will succeed.

When asked about the recently concluded agreements with China, the Spokesperson said there is seriousness in Pakistan and China to implement all these agreements. We are determined to each and every project signed.

When asked to comment on the Indian media reports that the Indian authorities have recently captured a Pakistani boat laden with drugs and narcotics, the spokesperson said our mission in New Delhi has asked India to provide the details so as the origin of the boat could be determined. So far, the Indian authorities have not shared any details about the boat. But we have also asked our Director General Maritime to ascertain the facts.

To a question about the presence of ISIS in Afghanistan, the Spokesperson said we do not have any concrete evidence of the outfit’s presence in Pakistan but we are alert to the phenomenon. She said terrorism is a global phenomenon and all the countries should enhance coordination to eradicate the menace.

About enhanced cross-border attacks from Afghan soil, the Spokesperson noted that there has been increase in terror attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistan has condemned these attacks. Both the countries are holding discussion to improve border management.

Regarding relations with Iran, the spokesperson said both the countries are trying to enhance their political engagements and economic relations. The two countries are negotiating a number of projects. She said the two countries have adopted new procedures to ensure better border management. Tasnim Aslam said the terrorists will not be allowed to mar the bilateral relations.