India should refrain from interfering in Pakistan's internal affairs: FO

Qazi Khalilullah said that Pakistan has always asked India to refrain from interfering in Pakistan's internal matters, and maintained that in the future they would continue to remind India to do so. ─ File photo

ISLAMABAD: Former Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam on Thursday introduced her successor Qazi Khalilullah at a media briefing in Islamabad, where he said that Pakistan has always asked India to refrain from interfering in Pakistan's internal matters, and maintained that in the future they would continue to remind India to do so.

Radio Pakistan reported the FO spokesperson as saying that the government has provided proof of India's involvement in Pakistan's internal affairs as recently as the secretary-level talks.

 This file photo shows Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry holding talks with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyan Jaishankar at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad. — Reuters/File

Responding to a question about Dawood Ibrahim, Khalilullah said the government maintained the underworld fugitive is not on Pakistani soil, and that India had accepted Pakistan's ignorance of his whereabouts.

Read more: Pakistan’s stand vindicated on Dawood Ibrahim issue: envoy

When addressing a question about the Doha process for reconciliation in Afghan, Khalilullah said that Pakistan supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process for peace and stability in their country.

The spokesperson maintained that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has a vision for peace and stability in the region, and that the government was making every effort to attain this objective.

The visit of senior PPP officials to Kabul was called a good omen, and the government encouraged political contact between the two countries, as they would be beneficial for the promotion of bilateral relations.

Read more: Progress towards peace talks unclear as Taliban, Afghan figures meet

Speaking about the ongoing elections in the United Kingdom, Qazi Khalilullah said Pakistan's ties with the UK were not reliant on any single political party being in power. He said the two countries enjoy close relations, and that the Pakistani government was looking to cement ties with the new British government.

Read more: United Kingdom votes in most unpredictable election in decades

Tasneem Aslam is expected to continue serving as Additional Secretary UN and Economic Affairs.

Profile: Qazi Khalilullah

New Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah. ─ Photo courtesy: Facebook

Qazi Khalilullah received a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, and joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1985.

56-year-old Khalilluah’s assignments abroad have included missions to Russia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine, where he was secretary; Geneva, where he served as a counselor/Deputy Head of Mission; and Myanmar and Cuba, where he was Ambassador.

His career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mofa) in Islamabad commenced with a year-long posting as Assistant Director Europe in 1987. His most recent posting at the Mofa is that of Additional Secretary Middle East and Africa, a role he was assigned in February 2015.

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