LONDON/sialkot - Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has condemned accusations that his country was supporting terrorism in Afghanistan, deeming such charges as “heinous.”

He told Arabic newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat: “Nothing can be farther from the truth in these heinous accusations. Pakistan believes in refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of all countries, especially Afghanistan.”

“Pakistan does not allow the use of its territory for attacks against Afghanistan,” stressed the minister.

On the internal conflict in the neighbouring country, he remarked: “We had long wanted a peace process that is purely led by Afghanistan.”

Pakistan is host to three million Afghans, who had fled the unrest in their country in the past three decades, he noted, adding: “We have set an example in this regard, which reflects our commitment to the Afghan people.”

“We have also paid a heavy price for the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Had there been peace there, Pakistan would have escaped the clutches of terrorism, extremism, drugs and illegal weapons,” sais Asif. “It is therefore obvious to any regional observer that achieving peace, security and prosperity in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest.”

He reiterated that Pakistan does not allow its territory to be used against Afghanistan and “we do not want any country to use Afghan land against us.”

“We have been taking the necessary measures to that end in our land and we hope that these efforts will be reciprocated on our western borders. Pakistan has made several proposals to Afghanistan on effective border control and we hope it will be cooperative,” he added.

Asked to assess Saudi-Pakistani ties, Asif commented that the two countries “enjoy tight and fraternal ties that stem from joint religious and cultural values.”

“The Saudi leadership has a special place in the heart of Pakistanis and the Pakistani people have great appreciation for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz,” said the FM.

The relationship is also based on deep mutual trust, which is demonstrated in the similar stances Saudi Arabia and Pakistan take on several regional and international issues, he continued. “Our ties are comprehensive and we are working together to improve trade relations,” he added.

Commenting on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East, Asif said that the Kingdom plays a “pioneering role” inside the region and beyond its borders.

“The people of Pakistan and Muslims around the word have great respect to the Kingdom. All Islamic countries look towards Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that is based in Jeddah,” he noted.

“Pakistan appreciates and hails the efforts of the Saudi leadership in achieving peace and stability in the region. We assure to the Kingdom and its people, our complete support in this regard,” he added. He also highlighted the role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, for spearheading the Islamic Coalition to combat terrorism, hoping that this united platform would effectively combat the terror threat that is tarnishing the real image of Islam.

Meanwhile, Kh Asif said the Indian army had failed to suppress the freedom movement through atrocities, human rights violations, genocide and custodial killings in the Held Kashmir.

"Now, the time has come for the international community to wake up and put pressure on India to give the fundamental right of plebiscite to the oppressed Kashmiri people," he said.

Addressing a Kashmir Conference held at Anwar Club Auditorium Sialkot, he said Pakistan always wanted a peaceful solution to the core issue of Kashmir and the world should ensure early implementation of the United Nations resolutions on the issue.

The foreign minister said, "Kashmiris are not alone in their generation-to-generation struggle for their freedom from Indian yoke as every Pakistani stands with them." He said the Indian Army had miserably failed to crush the Kashmiris' struggle for independence as they were writing a new chapter of their freedom movement with each passing day. He added the martyrdom of Burhan Vani by the Indian Army in 2016 had given impetus to the Kashmir freedom movement.

Khawaja Asif said Kashmir was a lifeline for Pakistan and sacrifices of thousands of Kashmiri martyrs would become fruitful and the day was not far when Kashmir would be free from the India subjugation. The minister said the whole Pakistani nation stands with the oppressed Kashmiri people and showing complete solidarity with them. Early peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute had now become vital for ensuring durable peace in South Asia, he added.

He said that Pakistan would continue to fully support the generation-to-generation freedom movement of the Kashmiris, adding that the depressed Kashmiris have been fighting the battle of their freedom from the Indian yoke.

He said that the Occupant Indian Army has failed to crush the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people through their stepped up atrocities, mounting human rights violations, genocide and custodial killings of the innocent people in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that now the time had come for the international community to wake up for globally pressurising India to give the basic right of plebiscite to the oppressed Kashmiri people.

He said that Pakistan always wanted a peaceful solution to the burning Kashmir dispute adding that the world should wake up to ensure early implementation of the prolonged delayed UN resolutions for the peaceful solution to Kashmir Dispute.

He added, "The Kashmiris are not alone in their struggle." He added that the India had unleashed worst brutalities to continue its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the Kashmiri rejected India's illegal occupation of their motherland.

He said that the Kashmiri people had appealed to the UN to implement its resolutions on Kashmir to mitigate their sufferings.

He said that peace could never be promoted in South Asia without solving the prolonged delayed burning issue of Held Kashmir. He termed Kashmir the key to peace. He urged the world to adopt a solid policy regarding the Kashmir dispute with India.

He strongly criticised India for the uncontrolled and unending violation of human rights. He added the sacrifices of the hundreds of the thousands of the Kashmiri people would soon become fruitful in shape of freedom of Kashmir from Indian yoke.

He said that the Pakistani nation expressed complete solidarity with the oppressed people of Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, and added that its solution had now become vital for ensuring sustainable peace in the Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

Later, the minister inaugurated the newly established roads, sewerage lines and park projects at Sialkot city's congested Shahabpura locality.

He said that the government has spent Rs170 million on these socio-economic and human development projects. He said that the government was fulfilling its all the public promises including of development. It was leaving no stone unturned to raise the living standard of the people through ensuring the early and smooth provision of all the basic facilities at their door steps, he added.

He maintained that the PML-N government had brought revolution of national development and prosperity, and put the country on the economic and political stability.