ISLAMABAD -  The government on Friday maintained that it will ensure smooth functioning of the Pak-Turk schools, future of which was thrown into doubt following the expulsion of dozens of Turkish teachers.

During the weekly media briefing, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said there had been some speculative reports with regard to Turkish employees of the Pak-Turk schools.

“It is emphasised that all actions being taken by the government of Pakistan on the matter are in accordance with our national law and consistent with the actions taken against the parent organisation by the government of Turkey. The organisation was registered under the ‘Charities Act’ in the Republic of Turkey. After the organisation was banned in the country of origin, its branches abroad have ceased to exist,” he explained.

He said that the government was fully conscious of the importance of continued smooth functioning of the schools in which thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled.

“We would like to reassure that appropriate arrangements are being made to ensure the uninterrupted running of these educational institutions, keeping in view the interest of the students as well as the employees,” the spokesman said.

Responding to a question, the FO spokesman said India’s aggressive posture was a threat to regional and global peace as he slammed New Delhi’s ‘double speak’ over the use of nuclear weapons.

He said the statement of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on ‘why India cannot use nuclear weapons first’ was a “manifestation of India’s double speak and a threat to region’s peace and security.”

He said such a statement by a high-profile official of the Indian government was enough to heighten the tensions further.

This week, Parrikar questioned India’s ‘no first use policy’ on nuclear weapons but then said that “this is my thinking” and the nuclear doctrine “has not changed” under any government.

Parrikar said: “Why a lot of people say that India has no first use policy. Why should I bound myself to a… I should say I am a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly. This is my thinking. Some of them may immediately tomorrow flash that Parrikar says that nuclear doctrine has changed. It has not changed in any government policy but my concept, I am also an individual. And as an individual, I get a feeling sometimes why do I say that I am not going to use it first. I am not saying that you have to use it first just because you don’t decide that you don’t use it first. The hoax can be called off.”

A spokesperson for the Indian defence ministry later clarified that the minister had confirmed that this was his personal opinion.

Zakaria said India’s claim of ‘no first use of nuclear weapons’ could not substitute to the restraint measures as proposed in Pakistan’s standing offer of ‘Strategic Restraint Regime’.

“Pakistan has long maintained that India’s ambiguous of ‘no first use’ declaration is not verifiable and amounts to nothing,” he said.

The spokesman said that Pakistan had time and again cautioned the international community of “Indian tendency towards adventurism”.

He said in this backdrop, signing nuclear deals by some countries was a matter of concern as “it had only reinforced arrogance and belligerence to the Indian conduct in the region and beyond.”

Zakaria urged India to end cross-border skirmishes and respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement to avoid the situation from deteriorating further.

He said India’s show of power at the borders highlighted double standards of its government. He reiterated Pakistan would continue to support Kashmir’s freedom movement morally on every international platform.

He referred to Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik’s statements which said that the people of Kashmir had won a moral victory by refusing to yield and submit to oppression.

He said Pakistan had decided to attend the “Heart of Asia” to be held in Amritsar next month. “On Afghanistan, Pakistan’s position has been very clear all along. We encourage all initiatives that are aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. The rationale behind it is that peace in Afghanistan will have a direct bearing on peace and security in the entire region. We also have a very special and close relationship with the people of Afghanistan. Since Heart of Asia is about Afghanistan, therefore, Pakistan has decided to attend the conference. Adviser Sartaj Aziz has already announced in this regard,” he elaborated.

He said Pakistan had extended an invitation to Afghan Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah to visit Islamabad in the near future.

“Terrorism is a huge challenge for Pakistan,” Zakaria said and added that the government was aware of Islamic State presence and the activities of Taliban in the neighbouring of Afghanistan.

The FO spokesman said, currently Pakistan was dealing with both home-grown and border terrorism and the world must acknowledge this. “Terrorism is a global phenomenon. We have incurred both human and economic loss of highest proportion at the hands of terrorists. We have lost more than 70 thousand of our nationals, including large number of security personnel,” he added.

To a question, he said: “I am not aware if we have received any call from the new US administration. You are aware that the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan have already congratulated Donald Trump on his victory. We look forward to working with the new administration closely.”

About Pakistan, Russia and China consultations on Afghanistan in December, he said: “We attach high importance to all initiatives aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large. There are other such initiatives also between different countries. Under the said trilateral, a working level meeting has already taken place. The meeting is due to be held next month. The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan has raised concerns about the spill-over effect due to the presence of NSAs and other elements there.”

Regarding the Nuclear Suppliers Group, he said Pakistan’s bid to enter the group received great acceptance and respect in its recent meet.

“Pakistan has said on several occasions that it has the expertise, manpower, infrastructure, as well as the ability to supply NSG controlled items, goods and services for a full range of nuclear applications for peaceful uses,” he added.

Zakaria said as a result of its active diplomacy, Pakistan had been able to establish itself as a serious candidate for NSG membership.