Islamabad rejects Indo-US joint communiqué: FO

Portugal closes consular section over trafficiking allegations

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Shamim Mehmood

ISLAMABAD

Pakistan has rejected the Indo-US joint communiqué in which both countries called on Pakistan to ensure its territory was not used to launch terror attacks on other countries.

The Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said the Indo-US joint communiqué was not acceptable and the FO had informed Washington about their reservations.

Dr Faisal said, Islamabad was ready to initiate dialogue with Delhi on all bilateral issues, including the long-pending issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

He added that Pakistan rejected all speculations regarding re-evaluation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement with the neighbouring China adding that nothing was being reviewed in this regard.

Prime Minister Imran has planned to make his first visit to Saudi Arabia whereas Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is making his visit to Kabul. He said this while giving weekly briefing to media at the foreign office in Islamabad.

On a question, Dr Faisal also made it clear that Pakistan has already rejected the speculations regarding Pakistan’s plan of making review of its multi-billion project with China.

Dr Faisal further said Indo-US joint communiqué is not acceptable and Islamabad has informed Washington about its reservations. He said Pakistan is ready to initiate dialogue with India because there is no other solution of Pak-Indo bilateral issue but dialogue.

Dr Faisal said that the visa restriction in Bahrain was not limited to Pakistani nationals only but for all foreign nationals.

The foreign office is in contact with the authorities in Bahrain and they have assured their every possible support.

On a question regarding FATF, Dr Faisal said work is being done in connection with Financial Action Task Force.

Portuguese embassy shutdown

The consular section of the consulate has been shut down for indefinite period, the FO said. FO spokesperson Dr Faisal, when asked about Pakistanis’ passports stuck in the consulate, said the Portugal consulate has been directed to release passports of all Pakistanis.

Portugal on Thursday shut down its embassy in Islamabad due to allegations of its staff’s involvement in human trafficking and other illegal activities.

The Portugal foreign office took decision to initiate inquiry into the allegations, sources said.

The Portuguese foreign minister initiated inquiry after receiving complaints against the consulate staff for alleged involvement in illegal activities.

The consular section of the consulate has been shut down for indefinite period, the FO said. FO spokesperson Dr Faisal, when asked about Pakistanis’ passports stuck in the consulate, said the Portugal consulate has been directed to release passports of all Pakistanis.

The passports of hundreds of Pakistanis were deposited in the consulate for visas. The consulate has allegedly adopted delaying tactics for the past many months.

The source said that the Portugal consulate has been closed for the past few months. The purpose of shutting down is reported to be investigation against the consulate staff.

The credible source said that the consulate officials in a large number were involved in the human trafficking. Due to the reason, the Portugal foreign office has decided to launch investigation into the matter.

The source said that the consulate officials along with Pak-Portugal Business Council, Pak-Portugal Business Forum, and former member National Assembly Babar Nawaz, former member Punjab Assembly Amir Sahotra and others were allegedly involved in the human smuggling.

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