LONDON - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that several elements are using Afghan soil to carry out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. “Pakistan believes in non-interference in internal affairs of other countries and wants others to follow suit. Pakistan is also supportive of a stable Afghanistan,” he said while talking to newsmen in London.He said Pakistan had an agreement with Afghanistan that both countries would not allow use of their soil against each other. He said Pakistan is fully abiding by this understanding and neither the Afghan government is violating it. However, some elements are active in Afghanistan, who carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

He stressed that Afghanistan had an elected government, armed forces and intelligence agencies and it was their responsibility to act. “Steps should be taken to stop cross-border attacks.” “We should not interfere in each other’s affairs. Talks are the way to peace in Afghanistan, and peace in Afghanistan will bring stability in the region,” he said. For this purpose, he said a coordinating committee of four countries comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States was making efforts. He added the overall regional situation would improve if Afghanistan became peaceful. “We do support peace process in Afghanistan,” he said.

He said the latest quadrilateral meeting of coordinated group in Kabul was very encouraging. "The three countries in the group wanted a peaceful settlement to the Afghan issue," he said and stressed that it was not the lone responsibility of Pakistan. While replying to a question, Nawaz said though the National Action Plan (NAP) was being implemented swiftly, there was rather slow progress on certain points of the NAP. The prime minister said a plan was on the anvil to tackle the militant elements. About the Pathankot attack, the prime minister said India has given fresh leads relating to the attack and Pakistan is verifying the facts to bring the perpetrators to justice. "I have received fresh leads from India on the Pathankot attack and we will look and examine those evidences given by India. We could have hidden it or forgotten it but we asserted that we have received the evidences," Nawaz said.

He said Pakistan had not levelled any blame but there should be no interference into each other's affairs. "Pakistan has a very firm stance over it," he added. He said that Pakistan was investigating the matter and the facts would be brought forward whenever investigations were over. He said a special team had been constituted to thoroughly probe the issue and it would also visit India to further collect evidences. The Indian prime minister had also assured of further assistance in the investigation process, he said, adding they were working on the right lines. To a question, he said it was Pakistan's desire to ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and bridge the chasm in their bilateral ties. "We have taken the initiative on our own. Nobody called us to initiate it," he made it clear. He said that they had talked to both sides and waiting for a response after which the things would move forward.