ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Thursday again blamed the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, for whipping up terrorism across the country. “RAW is involved in terror acts in Pakistan, and we have repeatedly raised this issue with India,” Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said while talking to media persons after inaugurating a seminar organised by Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) at a local hotel.The foreign secretary said Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism and this fight will continue till the elimination of the last terrorist.About allegations of foreign hands in Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the bus of Ismaili community in Karachi, the foreign secretary said investigations were underway, so no one should jump to any conclusion. When his attention was drawn to the presence of Islamic State (IS) also known as Daesh in Pakistan, the foreign secretary said the outfit was a potential threat for every country and added that this threat was being tackled effectively by the security agencies. He said Daesh had no presence in Pakistan and the security forces were alert to meet any threat and strongly rejected the notion that Daesh was involved in the Karachi bus tragedy. “It is too early to establish the involvement of Daesh merely on the basis of a pamphlet purportedly left by the attackers,” he added.To another question, the foreign secretary said during the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on May 12, Pakistan had asked Kabul that it should not allow RAW to use its soil to create unrest in Pakistan. He said Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to Afghanistan that it should not allow RAW to use their territory to create instability in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah, during his weekly press briefing on Thursday, said Pakistan would fully support peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. He said Islamabad would continue its facilitating role in Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation efforts. He was responding to a question regarding Pakistan’s role in Afghan reconciliation process after Islamabad condemned Afghan Taliban’s spring offensive code name ‘Operation Azm’.To another question, the spokesperson clarified that it had conveyed its concerns to Kabul that Indian RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) should not use Afghan territory to destabilise Pakistan.Referring to the recent visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to Kabul on Tuesday, he said during the discussion at bilateral level between Pakistan and Afghanistan, both the countries agreed that they would not allow their territories to be used against each other.Answering a question about the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the spokesman said Pakistan supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process for peace and stability in the entire region.Replying to a question, he clarified that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the joint press conference along with the Afghan president, had clearly said that both the countries were ready to have a coordinated operation and not a joint operation against the terrorists. The spokesperson said Pakistan’s commitment towards eliminating terrorism remained firm. He said Pakistan had rendered enormous sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. He said the ongoing military operation against terrorism was a clear manifestation of its determination to root out terrorism in all its forms and manifestations by Pakistan. Replying to a question, the spokesman said Pakistan had already strongly rejected the allegations that its government had prior knowledge of the US operation of May 2, 2011, against Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. He said the accusations made by US journalist Seymour Hersh about Pakistan were totally baseless and false. Replying to a question about reports that the Indian prime minister wanted to use cricket diplomacy to improve relations with Pakistan, Qazi Khalilullah said, “Pakistan welcomes the positive statements coming from India regarding resumption of cricket between the two countries. He noted the cricket matches between the two countries have always brought the peoples of the two countries closer to each other. “It is our desire to play cricket series against India,” he said. Answering a question about the presence of Daesh in Pakistan, the spokesman said the terror outfit had no footprints in Pakistan, adding the security forces were alert to meet any threat.Commenting on the latest situation on the Yemen crisis, the spokesman said Pakistan had welcomed the Saudi decision of ceasefire for five days and announced humanitarian assistance for the brotherly people of Yemen. Commenting on travel restrictions in relation to polio drops campaign, the spokesman said Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) held its meeting in Dubai on April 29 and 30 and it had appreciated the steps taken by Pakistan to implement the restriction of administering polio drops on all the travelers abroad. He also clarified the issue of giving second doze of polio to the travellers going to India by road through Wagah Border, saying Ministry of Foreign Affairs had received a complaint from the Indian government. Addressing the seminar on “Pakistan and CERN: Collaboration in Advanced Scientific Research”, organised by Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS), the foreign secretary said Pakistan had been fighting terrorism despite difficulties and sacrifices in this mission. He said the political and democratic system in Pakistan was taking roots and the governance was further improving it. Aizaz Chaudhry said there had been improvement in all the departments, including economic sector.Regarding progress in science and technology, the foreign secretary said Pakistan had emerged as a responsible nuclear power that had been using this technology for peaceful purposes. He said Pakistan had talented scientists and researchers who were contributing positively to the development of science and technology. He said Pakistan had been positively collaborating with the international scientific bodies like CERN, European Council for Nuclear Research. He said Pakistan had very successful record of nuclear plants and there had been no untoward incident at these plants since their start. The foreign secretary said Pakistan formally applied for associated membership of CERN in February 2013 and got it in 2014 after qualifying and fulfilling all the criteria. And it is the only country in South Asia to get the associate membership of this prestigious organisation which is playing very effective role in the progress and development of science and technology. He said the agreement for Pakistan’s associate membership of CERN was signed in Islamabad by the PAEC chairman and the CERN director general in the presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while the process of ratification is currently in process. He said the CERN has always been on the forefront of innovation and cutting edge research. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said Islamabad’s partnership with CERN is based on solid foundation. Pakistan has a long history of research in elementary particle physics and has produced some renowned scientists in this field, including Nobel laureate Dr Abdus Salam, he said.Referring to Pakistan’s achievement, the foreign secretary said Pakistan supplied 8 Magnet Supports, also known as magnet feet, to CMS, one of CERN’s main detectors, manufactured at the Heavy Mechanical Complex. He said Pakistan also supplied 320 Resistive Plate Chambers for CMS. He said as associated member of the CERN, Pakistan has the right and opportunity to project its civilian scientific capabilities. He congratulated the CISS for organising the seminar to highlight the success stories of development and achievements in science and technology. Earlier, Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS) Executive Director Ambassador Sarwar Ali, in his welcome address, highlighted the salient features of the seminar. The federal cabinet would soon ratify the agreement for associate membership of European Organisation for Nuclear Research (also known by its French acronym CERN), which would complete the process for the country’s admission in the world’s top particle physics laboratory.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 15-May-2015 here.