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Thursday, May 23, 2024

“Several misunderstandings,” Pakistan not so happy with Congressional hearing

On Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline FO spokesperson said that decisions regarding the project would be made independently by the Pakistan government

During a weekly press briefing, the Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to its relationship with the United States while addressing recent misunderstandings regarding Pakistan’s election laws.

Baloch clarified that during a Congressional panel hearing the day before, there were several misconceptions regarding Pakistani election regulations that needed to be addressed.

“In the meeting of the American committee yesterday, there were several misunderstandings regarding Pakistani election laws,” the spokesperson said. 

The hearing, titled ‘Pakistan After the elections: Examining the future of Democracy in Pakistan and the US Pakistan relationship,’ featured Donald Lu, the US Assistant Secretary of State, as a key witness.

Lu advocated for an investigation into claims of electoral fraud and expressed US concerns over restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly during the February 8 polls.

Regarding Dr. Shakeel Afridi’s sentencing, who assisted the CIA in locating Osama Bin Laden, Baloch reiterated Pakistan’s stance, stating that Afridi had been duly punished by a Pakistani court, and any discussions on prisoner exchanges were not conducted through media channels.

Pak-Iran pipeline an “internal matter”

Baloch also discussed the progress of the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, affirming Pakistan’s interest in its continuation. She emphasized that decisions regarding the project would be made independently by the Pakistan government, as it is being constructed within Pakistani territory.

Touching on recent security incidents, Baloch mentioned the terror attack in Gwadar, where security forces successfully thwarted an attack by militant groups like the Balochistan Liberation Army.

She highlighted Pakistan’s ongoing concerns with the Interim Afghan Government regarding the presence of terror outfits like the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan, posing a significant threat to Pakistan’s security.

More to read:PTI Chairman Voices Concerns Over Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations

The swift response of security forces during the Gwadar attack resulted in the recovery of a substantial quantity of arms, ammunition, and explosives from the terrorists involved, showcasing Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorism and ensuring regional stability.