Pak for end to controversy over Imran, Pompeo talks

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Seeks OIC emergency meeting on Dutch blasphemous cartoons

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Thursday said Pakistan wants an end to the controversy surrounding a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
“We want an end to this matter and want to move forward politi-cially,” Dr Faisal said while responding to a question during his weekly press briefing.
“Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has already issued a de-tailed clarification and we will not comment further on this matter,” he asserted.
However, the FO spokesperson avoided answering a question regard-ing whether the US had issued a transcript of the conversation to Paki-stan.
Regarding the issue of a blasphemous Dutch cartoon competition, the FO spokesperson said Pakistan had sought an emergency meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) permanent representatives and Qureshi will represent the country at the forum.
“The foreign minister will raise the issue of blasphemous caricatures in the meeting,” he said. The spokesperson said that the foreign minis-ter has written a letter to OIC Secretary-General on the matter. “The foreign minister also raised the issue with his Dutch counterpart,” he added.
“No decision has yet been taken on whether the Dutch ambassador will be expelled or any other action will taken,” he said.
Responding to a question, Dr Faisal stressed that both Gwadar and Chahbahar ports will complement each other. He India’s part in the port does not affect us.“We have to move forward together and are as-sessing investment opportunities in it,” the FO spokesperson said.
“Pakistan and China are iron brothers,” he added while stating that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is Beijing’s “flagship project”.
The FO spokesperson further said that “attempts are being made to improve relations and remove differences between Pakistan and In-dia”.
Trade between the two countries is a major issue, he said and added that a commercial transit point is a “small part of the issue”. “Opening of Kartarpura passage can prove to be a turning point,” Dr Faisal added.

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