Pakistan opposes use of force in Syria

Last Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 19:54

Islamabad: Amid talk of possible western military intervention in Syria, Pakistan on Thursday called for restraint and said the use of force must be avoided at all costs.

The West should wait for the report of the UN team probing the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime before it decides on any action, Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said.

"Pakistan has called on all sides to exercise restraint and engage in an inclusive political dialogue to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria," Chaudhry told a weekly news briefing.

He said Pakistan believes Syria`s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. "Use of force must be avoided at all costs as the people of Syria have already suffered enormously," he added.

Pakistan has condemned the alleged use of chemical weapons, Chaudhry said. "In this context, Pakistan notes that a UN team is conducting an investigation. We stress the importance of establishing facts before any precipitate action is taken,” he said.

Speaking in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament? Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Syria is an independent and sovereign country and Pakistan cannot support any action against it.

The Advisor to the premier on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, will brief the House tomorrow about Pakistan`s stance on this issue, he said.

Talking about the first Pakistan-Russia strategic dialogue held in Moscow, Chaudhry said it focussed on strengthening bilateral ties in the political, economic, defence and other fields.

It also provided an opportunity for talks on a wide range of regional and international issues. The dialogue provides an institutional framework for building closer relations with Russia, he said.

The spokesperson described Afghan President Hamid Karzai?s two-day visit to Islamabad as successful.

"The leadership of Pakistan has expressed its desire to see a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan and is fully committed to positively consider all steps necessary for promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan," he said.

Asked if there was any talk about releasing Afghan Taliban prisoners, especially Mullah Baradar, he said, "I do not have any information in that regard.

"As a matter of policy, Pakistan has committed to support whatever we deem will be helpful to advance the reconciliation process in Afghanistan."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 19:54

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