The national security advisor will visit Afghanistan on Sunday to discuss the upcoming visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Islamabad, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Sartaj Aziz, who will be accompanied by a senior official‚ will also call on the Afghan President and hold talks with senior Afghan officials on the reconciliation process and other matters of mutual interests.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has extended an invitation to Hamid Karzai to visit Pakistan. During his visit‚ Sartaj Aziz will deliver a formal invitation to the Afghan president, the Foreign Ministry said.

The visit of Sartaj Aziz will be the first high level exchange between the two countries since the assumption of new government in Pakistan following the May 11 elections, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said.

US DRONES: The spokesman said Pakistan will continue to raise the issue of drone strikes with the United States at all the forums.

When queried whether Pakistan has the desire to review its policy on drone attacks‚ he said the policy of present government on the matter is not a hidden secret.

He said that Pakistan has forcefully raised the issue of drone attacks with the United States‚ which are in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as well as the international laws.

“The drone attacks are counterproductive because these are further fanning militancy. We have a strong position on drone attacks and a debate has also started in the international community against them.”

BACK DOOR DIPLOMACY: On the start of back door channels with India‚ the spokesperson said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed a former senior diplomat Shahryar Khan to conduct track-II diplomacy.

“The designated ambassador has visited India and expressed the strong desire of Pakistani leadership for having good neighborly relations.”

He said Pakistan wants resumption of formal composite talks with India to address mistrust.

When asked about the revelations made by a former Indian official that New Delhi had planned Mumbai and parliament attacks‚ the spokesperson said the foreign office had asked its high commission in New Delhi to approach the Indian government to ascertain the veracity of the report attributed to a former Indian official Satish Verma.

He said according to the preliminary response‚ India has denied that any such statement has been made by Verma. “We‚ however‚ would ask India to give more details in this regard. “

About the visit of Pakistan judicial commission to India‚ he hoped the visit will stay on course. He said cooperation between Pakistan and India is essential in countering terrorism.

He expressed grave concern over the desecration of Holy Quran in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir. He said this incident has heart the sentiments of the people of Pakistan as well as of the entire Muslim world.

He said the Indian government has expressed its intention to carry out investigation into the sacrilegious act. We hope the probe will be held expeditiously and those involved in the act will be brought to justice.

 

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