ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan on Friday said that the successful rescue of a US-Canadian family held for five years by Taliban proved the country is an ally against terrorism and maintained that Islamabad and Washington have agreed that they will remain engaged at all levels.

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, while addressing a weekly news briefing here, said the raid that led to the family’s rescue shows that Pakistan will act against a “common enemy” when Washington shares information.

About the essence of the US delegation’s visit this week and Pakistan’s efforts in counter-terrorism, he said: “This was an interagency delegation, comprising senior officials from the US National Security Council, State Department and Department of Defence. These interactions are in line with the mutual desire from the two sides to remain engaged at various levels to discuss bilateral relations as well as the regional situation.”

The meeting with the US delegation, Zakaria said, was constructive and fruitful.

Zakaria said Pakistan’s position in the context of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan was well known. Pakistan, he added, had played its due role in all Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace initiatives aimed at achieving stability in Afghanistan.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan and the US had been partners for long and had converging interest in Afghanistan’s security.

“We are also engaged with regional countries in this regard. Yesterday’s meeting was helpful in developing understanding towards cooperative efforts. Further interactions will be helpful in providing direction in this regard. Both sides are preparing ground for working on the specifics for future cooperation in wake of the US strategy on Afghanistan,” he maintained.

To a question, Zakaria said that he could not confirm who would be coming from the US “but it was agreed that both sides will remain engaged at all levels.”

Questioned about the recovery of the American couple, he said that the US had expressed gratitude. “If we speak about the recovery of the abducted couple or of regional situation in general, what you need to look at is the context of situation in Afghanistan. This is what is being discussed at various international forums, within regional countries, and also between Pakistan and the US,” Zakaria pointed out. He said Pakistan’s position on Afghanistan was principled and very clear.

Zakaria said that Pakistan had participated in all initiatives that were Afghan-owned and Afghan-led, and were aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

While responding to a question, the Foreign Office spokesperson warned India of a “befitting response” in case of any misadventure. He said Indian Air Chief BS Dhanoa’s threat to attack Pakistan was a reflection of India’s ambitions.

“Statements such as the one by Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, reflect belligerent, irresponsible mindset of India that is against basic norms of inter-state conduct. Pakistan is taking all necessary steps to counter Indian irresponsible attitude. Let me assure you and India that it will be given an appropriate and befitting response in case of any brinkmanship,” he said.

Earlier, Dhanoa said that the IAF was capable of countering any threat from China and Pakistan simultaneously in a two-front war. About Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons and whether the IAF could target them, Dhanoa said India had the capability of “locating, fixing and striking across the border.”  Zakaria said at the state level, India was involved in perpetrating terrorism, terror financing and subversive activities in Pakistan.

At the Line of Control (LoC), he said, India was bluffing about infiltration to carry out fake encounters against indigenous Kashmiris, and malign Pakistan.

“Indian state machinery remains engaged in propaganda business, main target of which is Pakistan,” he added. The spokesperson said Indian Ministry of External Affairs was also part of Indian propaganda policy.

“MEA picks one odd case for the purpose of cheap publicity and to create false impression of being humanitarian. Such gestures reek of political posturing and not humanitarian impulse,” he said.

On Indian role in Afghanistan, Zakaria said Pakistan had been very clear that an expanded Indian role in Afghanistan would not be in the interest of regional stability.

“Pakistan has raised this issue at all relevant forums. Pakistan has also emphasised on the need for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process to resolve the Afghan conflict. We will continue to underscore this position with the US side in the future engagements,” he said.

To a question on escalation of Indian atrocities in Held Kashmir, Zakaria said: “We need to ensure that respect for human rights is effectively and equitably implemented and not selectively allowed to take a backseat to political and economic expediencies, otherwise human rights shall be reduced to a verbal sham.”

“Indian propaganda of infiltration from across the LoC to malign Pakistan and equate Kashmiris movement for self-determination with terrorism was exposed when thousands of unnamed and unmarked ‘mass graves’ were discovered in 2009. The discovery of mass graves also established Indian crimes of killing Kashmiris in fake encounters by calling them infiltrators,” he added.

Asked about Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement that Pakistan was ready to take action against Haqqanis and other terror groups with the help of the US, the spokesperson said: “His statement should be seen in the context that terrorism is a common enemy and requires cooperation from all countries of the world.”

Pakistan, he said, was prepared to take action on the basis of actionable-intelligence sharing and effective cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts.

“Recent example of such cooperation is the successful recovery of a Western couple and their children from the captivity of the terrorists. Our counter-terrorism operations Zarbul Azb, Raddul Fasaad and Khyber have already reaped successes,” he maintained.

To a question, Zakaria said Pakistan would continue to take up the Kashmir issue with the European Union and other powerful countries.

Questioned about the miscreants who entered Balochistan from Iranian soil, and killed army personnel deputed in the region, Zakaria said: “We have institutionalised mechanisms in place with Iran, wherein all issues related to border management and issues of bilateral and regional interest and concern are taken up by both sides.”