Islamabad - Pakistan said Thursday it desired an early political solution to Yemen crisis and Islamabad was in contact with other Muslim capitals, especially Riyadh to achieve that objective.

“The visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia today (Thursday) is part of efforts to seek peaceful solution to Yemen crisis,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told weekly press briefing.

She said Pakistan had urged the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take proactive measures to resolve the situation in Yemen. She, however, dismissed the reports that Islamabad had requested an early OIC summit on Yemen crisis.  

She said the OIC had announced to convene the meeting of its foreign ministers next month which would discuss the Yemen issue.

Asked whether Islamabad had made any specific proposals seeking political solution to the crisis in Yemen, Tasnim said, “We, as part of the international community, as part of the Islamic world and as a country and nation deeply values and cherishes our ties with the Muslim world. We are concerned for the safety, security and unity of the Muslim world. We would play our role which would commensurate with our outlook.”

The spokesperson said Pakistan was encouraged by the Saudi Arabian decision to end airstrikes in Yemen. “We hope that this move will lead to stability and commencement of political process,” she said and hoped that efforts being made for peaceful solution to Yemen conflict would succeed.

She was of the view that Saudi Arabia was a close friend and a true brother which had always stood by Pakistan in difficult times. She added that regular engagement with Saudi Arabia on Yemen situation was an effort to understand Riyadh’s perspective on the issue.

When asked about the recently concluded agreements with China, the spokesperson said there was seriousness in Pakistan and China to implement all these agreements. “We are determined to complete each and every project signed,” she added.

When asked to comment on the Indian media reports that the Indian authorities had recently captured a Pakistani boat laden with drugs and narcotics, the spokesperson said, “Our mission in New Delhi has asked India to provide the details so as the origin of the boat could be determined.”

“So far, the Indian authorities have not shared any details about the boat. But we have also asked our Director General Maritime to ascertain the facts,” she said.

To a question about the presence of ISIS in Afghanistan, the spokesperson said, “Pakistan has no concrete evidence of the outfit’s presence on its soil but we will remain alert to the issue.” She said terrorism was a global phenomenon and all the countries should enhance coordination to eradicate the menace.

When asked about enhanced cross-border attacks from Afghan soil, the spokesperson noted that there had been increase in terror attacks in Afghanistan. “Pakistan has condemned these attacks. Both the countries are holding discussions to improve border management.”

About relations with Iran, the spokesperson said both the countries were trying to enhance their political engagements and economic relations.  “The two countries are negotiating a number of projects.”

She said the two countries have adopted new procedures to ensure better border management. Tasnim said the terrorists would not be allowed to damage the bilateral relations.