Pakistan spent $1.9bn on Zarb-i-Azb, TDPs' return from own resources: FO

Published September 4, 2015
Aziz will also raise Pakistan's concerns over Aghan leadership's recent anti-Pakistan statements- APP/File
Aziz will also raise Pakistan's concerns over Aghan leadership's recent anti-Pakistan statements- APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has so far spent $1.9billion from its own resources on operation Zarb-i-Azb and return of Temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs), according to a statement issued by Foreign office spokesperson Syed Qazi Khalilullah on Friday.

Elaborating on the expenses incurred during the fight against terrorism, the FO spokesperson said that Coalition Support Fund (CSF) is reimbursement of the expenditures Pakistan incurred before the start of Operation Zarb-i-Azb, according to a report published on the Radio Pakistan website.

Qazi Khalilullah further said talks with the US authorities for the release of CSF are underway. He also laid stress upon the fact that Operation Zarb-i-Azb, Pakistan's anti-terror offensive has been successful, indiscriminate and effective against terrorists of all kind.

Meanwhile the Foreign Office spokesperson also confirmed that the meeting between top commanders of Pakistan Rangers and Indian Border Security Force this month will take place as per schedule.

Responding to a question, Khalilullah said that matters relating to trade, energy, defence, security and counter-terrorism strategy were discussed during the US National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s visit to Pakistan.

Pakistan committed to promote peace in Afghanistan

Addressing the Foreign Office's weekly news briefing held in Islamabad, Qazi Khalilullah reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment and will for facilitating peace process in Afghanistan led and owned by the Afghan leadership.

The FO spokesperson said that Pakistan is ready to facilitate, in whatever way possible, an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

"Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz who is in Kabul to attend the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan will also meet Afghan leadership to reassure them regarding Pakistan's commitment to peace process while discussing matters of bilateral interest," said the spokesman.

Read Aziz to explore if Afghans are interested in reviving reconciliation process

Khalilullah maintained that Aziz will also raise Pakistan's concerns over Aghan leadership's recent anti-Pakistan statements and the resulting security threat Pakistan embassy staff faces in Afghanistan.

Related Afghan president slams Pakistan over recent Kabul attacks

Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz traveled to Kabul on Friday for attending a regional conference, he will try on the sidelines to explore if the Afghan leadership is interested in reviving the peace dialogue with Taliban that was suspended weeks ago following the revelation about Mullah Omar’s death.

During his day-long visit, Mr Aziz will attend the ministerial meeting of sixth edition of Regional Economic Conference on Afghanistan and meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other leaders.

Pakistan will take a decision on its future line of action regarding ties with Afghanistan and the reconciliation process after Mr Aziz’s return.

According to a senior official, Pakistan is fully convinced that the way forward lay in an ‘intra-Afghan dialogue’, but would ask the Afghan leaders to make a choice between the reconciliation route and fighting the insurgents.

Pakistan had hosted a meeting was hosted between the Afghan Government and Afghan Taliban representatives in Murree on 7 July 2015 along with the representatives from China and USA.

The participants were duly mandated by their respective leadership and expressed their collective desire to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.

The second round of the talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015 was postponed in view of the reports regarding the death of Mulla Omar and the leadership crisis among Taliban.

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