ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday categorically rejected the idea that Pakistan is involved in barbaric act of violence and terrorism in Mumbai. Addressing a press conference after special cabinet meeting held here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, he said that the cabinet feels that finger pointing or coming to hasty conclusion would be playing into hands of common enemy that is terrorists.
The Foreign Minister said that it is in the interest of both Pakistan and India to lower the tension and avoid blame game instead of mud-slinging; however, the both countries would have to join hands to deal with the menace of terrorism, as the government attached highest importance to friendly and good neighborly relations as they are essential for regional peace and stability, he stated.
He said that Pakistan has offered unconditional support and assistance to India to un-earth the hands behind the barbaric act of violence and terrorism in Mumbai; he, however, made it clear that Indians have not sought immediate cooperation as they themselves have no clear of idea of what happened.
He said that the terrorism is a common threat to both the nations and we stand shoulder to shoulder to the Indian people to defeat this common enemy and defeat this menace. The Foreign Minister said that the people and all state institutions of Pakistan stands united against terrorism and extend their fully moral and material support to the Indian government and the Indian people.
The cabinet decided that all political forces would be taken into confidence and in this regard Prime Minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has already approached the leadership of PML (N) and PML (Q), he added. He said the government would put across its point of view before political leadership both in and outside parliament so as to be ready for any eventuality.
He told a questioner that there was complete harmony between the government and the armed forces and they are in consultation on the latest situation. He said that the cabinet unanimously condemned the barbaric act of terrorism in Mumbai and it offered its condolences to the government of India, people of India and the bereaved families.
The cabinet appealed to the people of Pakistan to maintain unity in this challenging time. Asked why the Government felt it necessary to convene a special cabinet meeting on the issue, the Foreign Minister said it is a serious situation and Indians feels it is 9/11 for them and being a responsible elected government, they cannot remain oblivious to the seriousness of the situation.
However, the cabinet in its meeting discussed in detail the evolving situation after the Mumbai incident. The Foreign Minister returned from New Delhi on Saturday morning gave in-camera briefing to the cabinet. National Security Advisor Mahmood Ali Durrani and Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik were also present on the occasion.-SANA