We don't poke our nose in other's affairs: Pak


Stating that it will not dictate Sri Lanka on pursuing its own policy with regard to the post LTTE war solutions, a senior Pakistan Foreign ministry official told a group of Sri Lankan journalists in Islamabad that his country had confidence in the island government and its people.

"The Sri Lankan leadership and its people are the best judge and I am sure, positive and confident that they know what their interests are," the State run Daily News quoted Additional Foreign Secretary (Asia- Pacific) Masood Khalid as telling the scribes yesterday.

In a discussion with the visiting journalists, Khalid said "we do not believe in poking our nose in others' affairs. Our relationship is based on non-interference, mutual respect and mutual trust. We talk to each other as friends."

He was responding to a question on whether Pakistan was also in agreement with India which had been pushing for a hurried political solution.

"This is strictly within the domestic domain of Sri Lanka," he stressed.

On Sri Lanka's call on foreign governments to arrest and repatriate LTTE leaders in their territory, he said countries must cooperate with each other in eliminating terrorism. "Wherever, a terrorist is a terrorist," he stressed.

He offered Pakistan expertise in addressing the IDP issue adding that perhaps it could undertake a particular project proposed by Sri Lanka through their South Asia desk.

Pakistan earlier offered 70,000 dollars for IDP welfare as a goodwill gesture which he called a modest contribution, the Daily News said.

Reflecting Pakistan's firm stand at the UN Human Rights Council in safeguarding Sri Lanka's interests, he said Islamabad will not hesitate to do so in the future as well.

Asked if trade relations between Islamabad and Colombo would suffer with the halt of purchase of military equipment from Pakistan, Khalid said there were many areas the two countries could continue to work on.

The former Army Chief and the new Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka had recently announced the cancellation of a USD 200-million arms deal with Pakistan and China.

Khalid said the South Asia region is in a state of turmoil due to terrorism and they were happy that Sri Lanka had overcome this struggle.

"We fully support Sri Lanka's stability and total integrity," he said.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan Foreign Ministers are due to meet latter this year to discuss the continuation of cooperation in the defence field, the Daily News said.

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