Islamabad, Jan 30 IANS | 9 months ago

Pakistan has no concerns over India's role in neighbouring Afghanistan, the country's foreign ministry said Thursday.

"Afghanistan is a sovereign state. If it has cooperation with another country, it's their bilateral matter. Many countries, including India, are engaged in reconstruction and development work inside Afghanistan," Xinhua quoted Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam as saying.

"We believe that leads to stability but at the same time we have very clearly articulated our position that Afghanistan's territory should not be used against Pakistan's interest," she said at a weekly briefing when asked about reports that Russia and India have planned a joint assessment of security in Afghanistan.

"Our position and concerns in this regard have been conveyed and they are understood by all stakeholders."

She confirmed that India's commerce minister would pay a three-day visit to Pakistan from Feb 16, which would coincide with an Indian trade fair in Lahore.

The spokesperson welcomed a recent statement from Indian Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid who said that Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wanted to improve relations with India.

"We welcome that statement... We have always said that Pakistan and India need to resume the dialogue process and have meaningful, result-oriented discussions on all the disputes and issues particularly Kashmir," Aslam said.

To a question about the progress in the cross-border trade stand-off between Pakistan and India over reported smuggling of narcotics into Indian-controlled Kashmir, she said negotiations were going on to resume the normal trade.

"Discussions are on and we would hope that there would be solution and intra-Kashmir trade would be resumed soon," she said.

(Posted on 30-01-2014)

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