Saudi Arabia, Pakistan oppose politicisation of UN listing regime by India

A joint statement issued by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan called for holding talks with India to resolve all issues of conflict.

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan oppose politicisation of UN listing regime by India

ISLAMABAD: Close allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have opposed the "politicisation" of the UN listing regime at a time when India has been stepping up its efforts to brand the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group's chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist - a move that may not go well in New Delhi.

Ahead of his visit to India amidst fresh Indo-Pakistan tensions over Pulwama attack on the CRPF convoy, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve "outstanding issues" between India and Pakistan, according to a joint statement issued at the end his visit.

''The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan reiterated their commitment to continue combating extremism and terrorism and expressed their deep appreciation for the achievements and sacrifices made by the two sides in the war against terrorism. They also applauded the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in order to confront this serious scourge and called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to join all international efforts to combat global terrorism. They also underlined the need for avoiding politicisation of UN listing regime,'' said a joint statement issued by the two countries.

The joint statement made an apparent reference to India's bid to list JeM's Pakistan-based chief Azhar as a global terrorist.

China, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council and a close ally of Pakistan, has consistently blocked moves first by India and later by the US, the UK and France to designate Azhar as a global terrorist by the 1267 Committee by putting technical holds.

Crown Prince Salman, who is set to visit India on February 19-20, held talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the issue of terrorism. 

The Saudi Crown Prince "praised openness and efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for dialogue with India and the opening of the Kartarpur crossing point for Sikh pilgrims, the joint statement said.

It also pointed out to the "efforts exerted by both sides, stressing that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve outstanding issues". 

''During the official talks in Islamabad, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence praised openness and efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for dialogue with India and the opening of the Kartarpur crossing point and the efforts exerted by both sides, stressing that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve outstanding issues,'' the Joint statement said.

The joint statement, however, avoided mentioning Jammu and Kashmir by name, which has angered some Pakistanis.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan briefed the Crown Prince on the alleged "grave human rights violations" in Kashmir and the need for resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people, the Foreign Office said.

The two countries "reiterated their commitment to continue combating extremism and terrorism and expressed their deep appreciation for the achievements and sacrifices made by the two sides in the war against terrorism, the joint statement said.

"They also applauded the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in order to confront this serious scourge and called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to join all international efforts to combat global terrorism," it said. 

The Pakistan-Saudi joint statement also says that the two sides agreed on the importance of political settlement and promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan so that millions of Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries can return to their country and contribute to their development and lasting peace. 

The Saudi side appreciated Pakistan's generous hosting of millions of Afghan refugees and other initiatives by Pakistan in the Afghan context.

The two countries expressed their hope for achieving a fair, comprehensive and long-lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the resolutions of international legitimacy guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state based on internationally agreed standards 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital, the joint statement said.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding. 

The Crown Prince stressed the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will contribute to the development and prosperity of the region.

The two countries called to promote dialogue, respect and understanding among followers of different faiths to promote peace and interfaith harmony.

The Saudi Crown Prince affirmed his country's strong ties with Pakistan, saying it will be a very important country in the coming future.

The Saudi Crown Prince is set to arrive in India on a two-day official visit on Tuesday.

Ahead of his arrival, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, travelling with the royal, said his country would try to de-escalate tensions between the two South Asian neighbours and see how their differences could be eased.

(With Agencies Inputs)