Foreign Office (FO) Spokesman Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said that Pakistan 'welcomed' the US president-elect Donald Trump's offer to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute, Radio Pakistan reported.
During a weekly press briefing in Islamabad, while responding to queries about the victory of Republican Donald Trump in the US presidential elections, Zakaria said that the president-elect had earlier offered mediation between Pakistan and India on Kashmir dispute and said that Pakistan had welcomed that offer.
Zakaria reiterated Pakistan's concern over continued 'atrocities' committed by Indian forces in held Kashmir and said Pakistan would continue to raise the issue at the international level and extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the cause of the Kashmiris.
The FO said Pakistan desires a close relationship with the US, and wishes to further strengthen ties in areas including the economy, defence, science and technology, education, strategic issues and counter-terrorism.
Pakistan will continue to promote and strengthen existing ties in areas of common interest, the FO said.
Responding to a question regarding the Indus Waters Treaty, the FO said Pakistan has approached the World Bank to establish a Court of Arbitration regarding the matter and is looking forward to its establishment at the earliest.
Pakistan lodges protest
The Foreign Secretary on Thursday summoned the Indian High Commissioner and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations on the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary, said a statement released by the Foreign Office.
"The Foreign Secretary summoned the Indian High Commissioner this evening and condemned the continued unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation Forces on the LoC and the Working Boundary, in complete violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and the International Law," said the statement.
The Foreign Secretary urged India to investigate the continued incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violations on the LoC and the Working Boundary and ensure respect for the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, in letter and spirit.
'Fake encouters in India'
Responding to a question regarding the killing of Muslims in 'fake encounters' in India, the FO spokesman said the international community has serious concerns over the situation of Muslims and other minorities in India.
He claimed that international human rights organisations have documented scores of fake encounters in India.
'Haqqani network in Afghanistan'
Nafees Zakaria claimed that eight leaders and commanders of the Haqqani network have been killed since July 6 this year in Afghanistan.
He said this was 'reflective' of where Haqqani network leaders are situated.
He retirated Pakistan's desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and said Pakistan is committed to helping all peace initiatives for Afghanistan. Peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan's and the region's interest, he said.
Earlier in October, Pakistan welcomed an offer by United States President-elect Donald Trump to ease tensions with nuclear-armed rival India over ongoing unrest in Kashmir.
Trump had said he would be pleased to be a mediator between Pakistan and India, in an interview with the Hindustan Times.
“Well, I would love to see Pakistan and India get along, because that's a very, very hot tinderbox.... That would be a very great thing. I hope they can do it,” Trump said.
Islamabad had said it did not comment on media reports usually but in this case it welcomed the mediation offer.
The comment was a change of tack after Pakistan's interior minister launched a blistering attack on Trump's “ignorance” in May after the billionaire vowed that if he won office he would free a doctor jailed in 2011 after helping track down Osama bin Laden.