ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday said Pakistan would present its point of view to the Obama administration on the issue of confronting extremism and terrorism during the meeting being held in Washington from next week.
Talking to reporters here at Golra Sharif after condoling the death of Pir Nasiruddin Nasir, the Foreign Minister, who is leaving for Washington on February 23, said the meeting with a two member committee comprising US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke and Co-Chair of the Policy Review Panel Bruce Riedel would be very effective as it would provide interaction for policy review.
Qureshi said it will be very useful meeting to review six-year US policy towards Pakistan and Afghanistan and hold discussions on the policy review aimed at formulating fresh approaches to the problems and challenges facing the South Asian region. The Foreign Minister said the US administration wanted to finalise the review policy before the NATO summit being held on April 2 and 3 so that with the share of the observations of Pakistan and Afghanistan, fresh and effective policy could be formulated.
The Minister said in review process the US will be engaged bilaterally with Pakistan and Afghanistan and it will provide a chance to Pakistan to provide its own point of view on the policy to counter terrorism and extremism. Replying to a question, the Foreign Minister said Pakistan will take into confidence the international community on Swat deal.
He said Pakistan will make efforts to remove the apprehensions of the world community on the deal. On a query on demanding extradition of Ajmal Kasab from India for interrogation, the Foreign Minister said, “Pakistan has been making progress gradually and after preparing its preliminary investigation report based on the information from India, now Pakistan has submitted a set of questions to India in this regard.”
The Minister said, “Pakistan is now waiting answer from Indian side about the questions submitted to India and further progress on this issue depends on the response from India.” Qureshi said Pakistan has shown seriousness and sincerity in the investigation of Mumbai attacks. Regarding drone attacks from Pakistan’s own soil, the Foreign Minister said US has issued clarification on the previous statement and it is self-explanatory.
About his meeting with his Indian counterpart in the ministerial meeting being held in Colombo later this month, the Foreign Minister said the dates of the ministerial meeting clash with his visit to Washington. Therefore, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad and Secretary Foreign Affairs Salman Bashir will represent Pakistan in Colombo meeting. The Foreign Minister while replying to a question said Pakistan has decided in principle to open its diplomatic mission in Iraq and further action would be taken very soon in this regard.-SANA