28 February 2021
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Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Thursday said Pakistan wants an end to the controversy surrounding a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
“We want an end to this matter and want to move forward politicially,” Dr Faisal said while responding to a question during his weekly press briefing.
“Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has already issued a detailed clarification and we will not comment further on this matter,” he asserted.
However, the FO spokesperson avoided answering a question regarding whether the US had issued a transcript of the conversation to Pakistan.
Kashmir isssue
Further, the FO spokesperson said Indian atrocities continue in occupied Kashmir.
“Last week, Indian forces martyred 10 Kashmiris,” he said.
Condemning the arrests of Hurriyat leaders Dr Faisal expressed concern over their deteriorating health in detention.
“International community should take notice of the violation of human rights in occupied Kashmir,” he urged.
“We summoned Indian deputy high commissioner over the martyrdom of a citizen in unprovoked firing of Indian forces at the control line,” Dr Fasial shared.
Pakistan’s stance on blasphemous caricatures
Regarding the issue of a blasphemous Dutch cartoon competition, the FO spokesperson said Pakistan had sought an emergency meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) permanent representatives and Qureshi will represent the country at the forum.
“The foreign minister will raise the issue of blasphemous caricatures in the meeting,” he said.
Further, the FO spokesperson shared that the foreign minister has written a letter to OIC Secretary-General.
“The foreign minister also raised the issue with his Dutch counterpart,” he added.
“No decision has yet been taken on whether the Dutch ambassador will be expelled or any other action will taken,” he said.
Relations with India and China
Responding to a question about the Chahbahar Port, Dr Faisal said, “India’s part in the port does not affect us.”
“We have to move forward together and are assessing investment opportunities in it,” the FO spokesperson said.
“Pakistan and China are iron brothers,” he added while stating that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is Beijing’s “flagship project”.
The FO spokesperson further said that “attempts are being made to improve relations and remove differences between Pakistan and India”.
Trade between the two countries is a major issue, he said and added that a commercial transit point is a “small part of the issue”.
“Opening of Kartarpura passage can prove to be a turning point,” Dr Faisal added.
Visit of Iranian FM
Further, the FO spokesperson said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s two-day visit to Pakistan starting today is a “positive development”.
“Zarif will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, FM Qureshi and other senior leaders during his visit,” he added.
In response to a question, the FO spokesperson said, “No new development in Aafia Siddiqui case.”

Abdul Gh Lone