KARACHI Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has termed the recent statement of Chief of Indian Army as absurd and very irresponsible saying it was against Indias own interests besides it would also damage the process of bringing all South Asian counties closer to each other for peace and economic prosperity of the region. We extended a hand to Iran for peace and stability in the region, he added. He categorically stated that Pakistan could not be threatened by the Indian Army Chiefs irresponsible statement. General Kapoor had said he was willing to take on Pakistan as well as China should the need arise. I am surprised at the statement of the Indian Army Chief. On one the hand, India talks of dialogue while on the other, it (New Delhi) itself backtracks on its own words. Gen Kapoor has done no service to his country or this region by giving such a statement, Foreign Minister Qureshi remarked while talking to mediamen at the residence of Sindh Minister for Population Welfare Syed Ali Mardan Shah where he condoled with the provincial minister on death of his father. He said Indian Army chiefs remarks were against Indias own interests besides it would also damage the process of bringing all South Asian counties closer to each other for peace and economic prosperity of the region. We are a responsible and foresighted nation, and do not believe in any kind of sensation. he added I would call it an absurd statement. It doesnt fit to a person holding such an important and responsible position, he remarked, saying that the Foreign Office and the ISPR had given a proper response to the Indian Army Chief statement. Qureshi said he was always very careful in his statements; keeping in view the interests of the country, the nation and the region. The government has adopted very responsible and balanced attitude, he said, adding that Islamabad had not accepted any outside pressure and would not do in future as well. Our political and army leadership had already duly condemned the Indian Army Chiefs statement. He said the government wanted to continue composite dialogue with India which has proved helpful in resolution of various issues between the two neighbours and strengthening the bilateral ties. Responding a question, Qureshi said, The PML-N is our allied party and the past opponents have been made allies in Punjab, adding that despite majority in Sindh, the MQM was made ally. He said after Benazir Bhuttos martyrdom, the PPP did not become aggravated as they did not want destruction and bloodshed in the country, rather wanted peace in the country. To another question, he said China was a very trusted friend of Pakistan and was still playing very important role in Pakistans development. The present government, Foreign Ministry and President Asif Ali Zardari had always focused on further promoting Pak-China friendship, which was initiated by founder of Pakistan Peoples Party and former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. About Iran, the FM said that PPP-led government has succeeded in reviving and strengthening ties with Iran. We have enhanced interaction and coordination on different fronts including diplomatic one and there were frequent visits of delegations of government functionaries of both the countries, he stated. He said the government had achieved very good progress in gas pipeline project with Iran which had remained in doldrums for the last 25 years. About Afghanistan, Qureshi said President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani were taking personal interest in promotion of ties with Afghanistan. President Zardari was the only head of the state who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Hamid Karzai as Afghan President for the second time. He informed media that he had invited the foreign ministers of Iran and Afghanistan to Islamabad so that a clear and joint regional approach be adopted in the international conference scheduled to be held in London on January 28, 2010. When his opinion was sought on Pakistans position in SAARC, the Foreign Minister said. We have strengthened bilateral ties with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He referred to his recent meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sh Hassina who extended invitation for Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to visit Bangladesh. However, he said Pak-India relations directly influenced SAARC affairs. To another question, Qureshi said some Pakistanis were still in Indian prisons and the same was true for India. As a confidence-building measure, Pakistan recently released 100 Indian fishermen and India also reciprocated. We have exchanged lists of the prisoners to work on the issue, he said. He praised the role of joint judicial committee with senior Judges.