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ISLAMABAD: Referr­ing to the recent BRICS declaration issued after a summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday refuted media reports clai­ming that China had changed its policy towards Pakistan.

Earlier this month, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that make up the BRICS grouping, named militant groups allegedly based in Pakistan as a regional security concern, calling for their patrons to be held to account.

The minister in a statement said China adopted the same stance [regarding Pakistan] which was expressed in the declaration at the Heart of Asia Conference held in India.

“Similarly when Donald Trump criticised Pakistan, not only China and Russia, but even think tanks of United States said that peace cannot be ensured in Afghanistan without cooperation of Pakistan,” said the minister.

A few days ago, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong assured Pakistan that nothing new was there in the BRICS declaration.

“The BRICS declaration mentioned organisations which are already banned,” Mr Sun observed, adding that “there has been no change in Chinese policy regarding Pakistan”.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017