Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Afghanistan: FM Asif


Asif's visit will come days after the conclusion of BRICS summit chaired by China, which named Pakistan-based terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba in its joint declaration.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will visit the regional countries - beginning with China - on September 8 to discuss the foreign policy and the future strategy.

Analysts say the new charges put additional pressure on Pakistan for its alleged support of regional militant groups that are fighting in Afghanistan and Indian Kashmir.

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria - in response to the declaration issued by the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa summit in Xiamen - said Pakistan was also "seriously concerned" about the "threat posed by terrorism and extremism in the South Asian region".

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday, the minister will leave for Beijing on the first leg of his tour to the regional countries to garner support for Pakistan in the wake of the USA strategy announced by President Donald Trump last month.

As global pressure mounts against Pakistan, Islamabad has opted to unite Russia, China and Turkey against the new United States strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

PM leaves for China to attend BRICS Summit; to visit Myanmar too
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he will also meet leaders bilaterally on the sidelines of the BRICS summit. The first BRICS summit was held in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in 2009.

He said that following operation "Zarb-e-Azb", there are no safe havens for terrorists inside Pakistan, while their remnants are being wiped out through intelligence-based operations (IBOs) under the military campaign "Raddul Fasaad". "Should China actually walk the talk, it will signal a change of China's stance towards Pakistan and terrorism".

Pakistan reports indicate that Asif will soon visit Moscow to discuss the USA strategy.

Pakistan on Tuesday said that the terror groups were scattered in the South Asian region with hideouts mainly in Afghanistan.

"We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals...." China's endorsement of BRICS declaration, which is also seen as a significant diplomatic victory for India, was sharply criticised by a Chinese think tank, saying that it would strain close relations between China and Pakistan. "Still, it has set a precedent that should give Pakistan cause for worry, at the very least".

China has been forced to condemn terrorist based organisations.

Meanwhile, Asif, in an interview with a private TV channel, acknowledged the existence of some internationally banned organistations operating from within Pakistan and called for imposing restrictions on the activities of those outfits.