The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday rejected US Gen Joseph Dunford's allegations that Inter-Services Intelligence (IS) had ties to militant groups and that terrorists safe havens existed in Pakistan.

"The US government and army cannot make Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures in Afghanistan," FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in his weekly briefing.

“It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford had informed the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Zakaria responded to that be reiterating that Pakistan has cleared its areas and begun a decisive offensive against terrorists on its soil.

Calling Gen Dunford's statement "baseless", he said Pakistan has acted against terrorists indiscriminately.

"The US is trying to blame Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan," he added.

According to Zakaria, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif discussed regional security with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday and will also meet National Security Adviser General McMaster during his visit.

During the briefing, Zakaria also accused India of using terrorist organisations like Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA) against Pakistan.

The FO also accused India of being involved in "economic terrorism" and a plot to sabotage economic activity in Pakistan by attacking China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Indian aggression in Kashmir

"Indian occupation forces continue to violate ceasefire on Line of Control (LoC) and deliberately target civilians," the FO spokesman said, recalling that two civilians were killed and two injured in one such incident in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday.

India has committed around 1,000 ceasefire violations this year, which have resulted in deaths of 45 civilians and injured 155 others, including children and women.

"Indian crimes against unarmed Kashmiris, who are seeking their right to self-determination, as promised to them in the UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir dispute, warrant strong punitive actions against India," he urged.

Zakaria also mentioned Amnesty International’s recent report on pellet gunshot victims and accused Indian forces of rape and 'braid-chopping' in India-held Kashmir "as tools to terrorise Kashmiri women and deter the men."

"Besides killing Kashmiris in thousands of fake encounters, Kashmiri leaders have been penalised with death sentences and life incarcerations on trumped up charges through flawed judicial trials. The case of Dr Muhammad Qasim is among the many cases of miscarriage of justice," he added.


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