ISLAMABAD - Islamabad expects from Kabul to take action against the terrorists using its soil to destabilise Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in the weekly press briefing

“As Pakistan is determined not to allow its territory to be used against Afghanistan, we expect similar commitment from Kabul,” she said. She said Islamabad had no information if any action on the ground had been taken to eliminate these sanctuaries of terrorists on the Afghan soil.

The spokesperson said Pakistan had strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, including the deadly car bombing in Eastern Paktika province, which claimed lives of many civilians.

She said there was no cause to justify such despicable acts, especially in the holy month of Ramazan. “We reiterate condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” the spokesperson added.

On the Afghan presidential elections, she said, Pakistan welcomed the amicable solution reached regarding the complaints of fraud in the second round of presidential elections in the neighboring country. “We appreciate the efforts of everyone who contributed to this peaceful negotiated outcome. We believe this is a success for democracy,” she said and hoped the Afghan authorities and the international partners would remain successful in the next important process to be undertaken within the next few weeks.

Commenting on the conviction of Pakistani journalist Faizullah Khan in Afghanistan over crossing the border without travel documents, the spokesperson said the matter had been actively pursued with the Afghan authorities to secure his release.

An Afghan court awarded four-year jail term to Khan who had gone to Afghanistan to interview Pakistani Taliban leaders. He was arrested in April by the Afghan intelligence agents. The Afghan intelligence had previously charged the Pakistani journalist with spying, however, the judges dropped the espionage charges. Khan works for a private television channel, ARY.

Tasnim Aslam said Pakistani diplomatic missions in Afghanistan had been pursuing this case on the legal and political tracks.

The Pakistani diplomats have secured immediate consular access to the journalist, facilitated his contact with the family and arranged a lawyer.

“Our ambassador in Kabul also held meetings with the Afghan foreign and interior ministers on the matter. At all these meetings, the afghan authorities were asked to release the Pakistani journalist on humanitarian grounds. Due to hectic efforts, the most serious charges have been dropped against the journalist and the Afghan authorities have also promised to help Pakistan in this case,” the FO spokesperson said.

Commenting on the allegations levelled against Pakistani diplomats in Britain, Tasnim Asalm said the wives of the two diplomats had done so to secure asylum.

To a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan seeks resolution of all disputes, including Jammu and Kashmir, with India through the dialogue process. However, attaching any preconditions would not help the process move forward. She said the Mumbai attack case was proceeding, but no progress had been made in the Samjhota train attack.

Voicing her concern over the killing of Palestinians in Gaza, the spokesperson said, “Our missions in New York and Geneva are working to build up pressure for immediate ceasefire.”

On Pakistan’s relations with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan had actively been participating in its meetings as an observer, adding it was a useful and relevant forum to discuss the issues faced by the region. “Pakistan looks forward to becoming a full member of the organisation,” she said.