India can’t champion regional peace while involved in state-sponsored terrorism: FO

Islamabad: A country like India that is involved in state-sponsored terrorism cannot be an effective partner in bringing peace to the region, said Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in his weekly briefing on Friday.

He was speaking in reference to US President Donald Trump’s speech on the Afghan war, in which he directed India to provide more assistance and development to Afghanistan.

While expressing Pakistan’s reservations regarding the US’s acknowledgement of “India’s important contributions to Afghan stability”, Zakaria said that extremists have found their way into India’s governing bodies.

“The extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other such organisations are already influencing the Indian judiciary’s decisions at this time while the Indian army is lending its support to the RSS as well,” Zakaria said. “There are unresolved issues on a wide range of matters that India has with various countries, which is why it cannot be expected to maintain peace in the region.”

Reiterating the point made by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif after yesterday’s national security meeting, he said that Pakistan outright rejects the US’s accusations that the country is harbouring terrorists and providing them “safe havens”.

“No other country in the world has made the kind of sacrifices that Pakistan has had to make in the fight against terrorism,” he said, adding that Pakistan would continue its struggle against terrorism for the sake of its own national interests.

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