Foreign Office spokesperson Syed Qazi Khalilullah said earlier today that ‘2,308 Pakistanis are serving sentences in Saudi Arabian jails,’ according to a report published on the Radio Pakistan website.
Over 2,300 Pakistanis are awaiting deportation in various detention centres in Saudi Arabia, he said, adding that these people were involved in Umrah and Haj visa violations.
Responding to a question the Foreign Office spokesperson said that Pakistan desires result-oriented dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir and promote bilateral relations.
Khalilullah said Pakistan is waiting on “how to move forward after the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Paris.”
At a weekly news briefing, the Foreign Office spokesperson said the two-day Heart of Asia ministerial meeting will commence in Islamabad on Tuesday, the theme of which is ‘Istanbul Process – enhanced cooperation in countering security threat and promoting connectivity in the heart of Asia’.
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According to the programme, he said, the conference will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Khalilullah added that Pakistan awaiting for the confirmation of the Afghan President’s visit.
So far foreign ministers of China, Tajikistan, Iran and Afghanistan have confirmed their participation from the participating countries.
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to visit Islamabad to attend the meeting.
The ministerial meeting is being held in Islamabad on Dec 9, which is being attended by about 27 countries. India is part of the process, which promotes the vision of regional cooperation and confidence-building with a focus on Afghanistan.
The agenda of the Heart of Asia Conference is aimed at cementing regional ties, Khalilullah said. It is also aimed at expanding cooperation between Afghanistan and regional partners in countering terrorism and eliminating poverty and extremism.
The spokesman said Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the militant Islamic State group] is a terrorist organisation which has no footprints in Pakistan.
Pakistan is committed to root out terrorism from the country and in this connection operation Zarb-i-Azb is going on successfully, said Khalilullah.
He said Pakistan is cooperating at an international level to eliminate terrorism by sharing intelligence on the issue. Pakistan is in favour of coordinated action against terrorists and not joint action, he added.