Islamabad - Pakistan on Thursday emphasised the need that all anti-terrorism efforts by all countries should be within the parameters of international laws.

Commenting on remarks of US President Barrack Obama about taking unilateral action against terrorists, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam at the weekly press briefing called for a just approach about countering terrorism.

“Our position is very clear that all counterterrorism efforts have to be within the parameters of international law. Success can only be achieved through mutual cooperation between and among members of the international community and respect for each other’s concerns and sensitivities,” she said in response to a question.

Tasnim said Islamabad appreciates President Obama’s statement that US stands united with people around the world who have been targeted by terrorists including Pakistan. “We appreciate the United States for expressing solidarity with us on the Peshawar tragedy, however as regards countering terrorism, the action should be in line with international laws and cooperation amongst members of the international community.”

Answering a question about banning of Jammat ud Dawa (JuD) the spokesperson said as a member of the United Nations Pakistan is under obligations to proscribe the entities and individuals that are listed.

“We take our obligations very seriously and try to meet these obligations scrupulously. Once any individuals and organisations are proscribed by the UN, we are required to freeze their assets and enforce travel restrictions. We take that action. Bank accounts of such entities and individuals are frozen after SRO is issued,” she added.

Commenting on visit of the US President to India, the spokesperson said Pakistan is expecting that the US President would take up the issue of recent escalation by India on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary in which many innocent Pakistanis and Kashmiris have been martyred.

She was of the view that at a time when Pakistan is in a midst of a very robust and broad operation against terrorists in North Waziristan, any kind of distraction would only mean one thing that there are people who would not like to see Pakistan succeed and that is not in the interest of anyone, that is not in the interest of US, India and the international community.

She voiced concern over the burning of four Muslims in Assam saying this is flagrant violation of human rights and hoped the Indian government will look into the incident and take stern action against those responsible.

Replying to a question about the presence of Islamic State elements in Pakistan, she said, “We are alert to the threat of the outfit”, adding that Pakistan is already carrying out an across the board operation against all terrorists.

The spokesperson once again strongly condemned the publication of sacrilegious sketches in a French magazine. She said PM’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz has addressed a letter to the OIC secretary general asking him to initiate action to criminalise the publication of blasphemous sketches as is the case in holocaust.

She said these publications have hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world and no freedom of expression is unlimited. The spokesperson questioned if the denial of holocaust can be criminalised then why it cannot happen in the case of Muslims where most sacred personality of Islam has repeatedly been insulted.

On Pakistan’s ties with Afghanistan, Tasnim Aslam said, “We have been able to establish cooperative relations with the neighbouring country over the past few months”, adding that both the countries are in close contact and cooperating with each other in counter terrorism efforts.

JuD to ‘continue’ its welfare activities

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: A spokesman for the Jamatud Dawa said on Thursday that the Foreign Office’s statement against the JuD was aimed to “please India under the US pressure”.

Muhammad Yahya Mujahid said that the UN sanctions against the JuD had remained under discussion in the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court and both the superior courts had ruled that there was no ban on this organisation in Pakistan and it was absolutely free to continue its welfare activities. “The JuD will continue its missionary and welfare activities in Pakistan”, the spokesman concluded.