ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Wednesday said that the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) is against all the terrorists without any discrimination.

“Pakistan has asked the Afghan government to extend its help and cooperation in this military operation through taking action against any terrorist fleeing to Afghanistan from North Waziristan,” said a senior official of the Foreign Office while briefing a group of senior journalists here.

The Foreign Office official said for the first time, all the stakeholders, including civil government, military, people and almost all political parties, were supporting the military operation in North Waziristan. The official said the present government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was taking steps seriously to improve its relations with all the countries, especially with its neighbours Afghanistan and India.

He said in this direction, Prime Minister Sharif had sent Mahmood Khan Achakzai as his special envoy to Kabul along with the foreign secretary to seek cooperation at political level in the management of border, following the military operation in North Waziristan. Pakistan expects Afghanistan to take measures on the borders so that the terrorists do not find sanctuaries on Afghan territory, he added.

The official said the visit of Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser, was in the context of carrying this discussion forward.

The official said Pakistan also clarified to the Afghan government that there was no favourite of Pakistan in Afghan presidential elections. He said Pakistan took extraordinary measures to secure the borders with additional deployment and controlled movement, without hindering the travel of Afghans who wanted to go across and vote which was acknowledged by the international community.

Referring to the operation, the Foreign Office official said Pakistan was conducting an operation to eliminate terrorism and it was in Afghanistan’s own interest to cooperate with Pakistan.

The official said elections in Afghanistan were generally very peaceful and Pakistan welcomed these elections. Pakistan wanted that there should be peaceful transition of power in Afghanistan, he added.

The official said Pakistan leadership had been sincerely working to resolve misperception and misunderstanding with Afghan leadership. He said there had been no allegation from Afghanistan and international community about any disturbance from Pakistan during the Afghan presidential elections. He said terrorists were not sincere to any one; therefore, the Afghan government should not harbour any terrorist and provide sanctuary to terrorists. Pakistan has released over 50 senior level leaders in connection with reconciliation process with Taliban, he added.

Commenting on the role of UNHCR, the Foreign Office official said Pakistan has asked the UNHCR to take care of all the Afghan refugees in Pakistan and stop discrimination among these refugees.

On Pak-India relations, the official said so far no date has been finalised for the meeting between the two foreign secretaries as agreed upon during the meeting of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. He said Pakistan will concentrate on its interests during the proposed secretary level meetings and was interested to start dialogue process on all disputed subjects.

He said there was need to remove trust deficit between Pakistan and India and efforts were being made, at least from Pakistan side that both the countries could live as good neighbours. The official said Pakistan has been taking all-out efforts to improve its ties with India while there was some limitation for issuing visas to some of the Pakistani interested to visit certain shrines in India.

He said people to people contacts should be promoted between the two countries that will provide the basis to further strengthen ties.