‘No talks with TTP’, reiterates FO

‘No talks with TTP’, reiterates FO



Two guards stand outside of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Islamabad, Pakistan. — AFP
Two guards stand outside of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Islamabad, Pakistan. — AFP
  • Pakistan maintains India should ensure safety of minorities.
  • Pakistan summons Danish diplomat to protest Quran desecration.
  • Such “Evil acts” insult 2 billion Muslims around world, says FO.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has categorically denied holding talks with those who carry out terrorist activities in the country, reiterating that no such dialogue will be held in the future either, The News reported Friday.

At a weekly media briefing at the Foreign Office on Thursday, in response to a query regarding the Afghan Taliban’s suggestion that Pakistan hold talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the FO spokesperson said: “I have responded in the past as well, and I will reiterate. Pakistan’s position is that we will not negotiate with individuals or entities which are involved in [the] killing of Pakistani civilians and law enforcement officials, and who do not recognise the Constitution of Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s position has been very clearly enunciated including to those who propose such talks.”

In an interview with a British media house, the FO spokesperson said that the Afghan foreign ministry’s point of view does not match Pakistan’s.

Pakistan also commented officially for the first time on the current civil war in India’s Manipur region.

“We are following the developments. We have also seen the pronouncements made by the international community about their concerns about the plight of minorities in India.

“As you know, we have on a number of occasions maintained that the safety and security of minorities and their places of worship should be ensured by the Indian government,” said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Pakistan continues efforts to find a way out for the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), while reaching out to all stakeholders. It has also made very clear the position of neutrality in this conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“As the foreign minister has reiterated we believe that conflict does not serve anyone. It creates difficulties and miseries for the people of both countries. It is, therefore, important to find a negotiated settlement of this conflict so that peace can prevail and the people of Ukraine and Russia can enjoy the peace dividends,” reminded the Foreign Office.

In this regard, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari telephoned United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and shared Pakistan’s perspective on the stalling of the BSGI and its implications for food inflation worldwide.

Another topic of urgency for Pakistan is the continued condemnable acts of desecration of the Holy Quran.

Bilawal tweeted: “I had the pleasure of speaking with the UNSG secretary general on telephone today. Thanked him for his leadership and support for Pakistan flood response [and] Highlighting challenges faced by developing countries for food security following supply chain disruptions.

“[We] exchanged views on reviving the stalled Black Sea Grain Initiative through constructive dialogue accommodating concerns of all parties. Also addressed recurring reprehensible and condemnable acts of desecration of the Holy Quran.

“Urged collective UN action to formulate a comprehensive strategy for tackling Islamophobia.”

At the weekly media conference, the spokeswoman at the Foreign Office added that Bilawal also lauded the positive role played by the UN secretary-general in the finalisation of the BSGI agreement last year.

Also, the foreign minister requested Secretary-General Guterres to continue his valuable engagement in reviving the initiative through a constructive dialogue that addresses the concerns of all parties.

Condemning the recurring incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran in Europe, the foreign minister appreciated the UN Secretary Genera’s advocacy for inter-religious harmony and peaceful co-existence.

He called for collective action at the UN level by formulating a comprehensive strategy and Action Plan to tackle the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia.

Both these issues were raised by Pakistan in phone calls with Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Hossien Amir Abdollahian, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Hissein Brahmin Taha and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

As another condemnable incident of the burning of the Quran continues this time in Denmark, Pakistan summoned a senior Danish diplomat to protest.

“Pakistan strongly condemns the desecration of the Holy Quran and dishonoring of the Pakistani flag in front of the Embassy of Pakistan in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“A strong protest has been lodged with the Government of Denmark. We expect the Danish authorities to take all measures necessary to stop such acts of hatred and incitement,” said the spokesperson.

She pointed out that the intent of such evil acts is to insult two billion Muslims around the world and create friction amongst communities, cultures, and countries.

“These acts, by any definition, do not constitute freedom of expression. Nor can the permission to carry out provocative acts of religious hatred be justified under the pretext of freedom of expression, opinion and protest. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said, ‘speech and inflammatory acts against Muslims are offensive, irresponsible and wrong’,” she said.

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