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There is `foreign interference` in Balochistan: Pakistan FS

Last Updated: Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 18:07

Islamabad: Pakistan on Saturday claimed there was "foreign interference" in the restive province of Balochistan and stressed that terrorism is as much a concern for the country as it is for India.
Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said Pakistan had evidence of interference in Balochistan and this was shared with "relevant parties" in New York. He did not give details.

"We have also presented this evidence in the Senate (upper house of parliament)," Jilani was quoted as saying by Geo News channel.

Speaking to reporters after briefing the Senate`s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Jilani said the Balochistan issue was raised by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh during their recent meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Pakistani leaders have for long alleged that India has been fomenting unrest in Balochistan but have never produced any evidence to substantiate their claims. India denies the charges.

Jilani expressed hope that the dialogue process with India would grow, saying Pakistan had as many concerns about terrorism as India. "The issue of terrorism will not be resolved by hurling accusations," he said.

Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute, through dialogue, he said.

Sharif met his Indian counterpart in New York last Sunday for the first time since he came to power in May, promising an improvement in relations with neighbours.

The premier has insisted that dialogue with India is the mainstay of his foreign policy and "the only way forward" in normalising ties.

However, Singh described Pakistan as the "epicentre of terrorism". India has also sought strong steps to counter terror emanating from Pakistani soil.

Ahead of a visit to Pakistan`s traditional ally Turkey, President Pranab Mukherjee said that unless Islamabad dismantles the terror infrastructure on its soil, there is no scope for progress in talks between the two countries.

"We demand of Pakistan that the infrastructures created by the terrorist outfits in your territories, dismantle them! Keep your commitments to India, don`t allow terrorists to use your land to perpetrate their nefarious activities on India," Mukherjee said in an interview to a Turkish newspaper.


First Published: Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 18:07

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