Cooperation needed to address terrorism: Pakistan

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Islamabad, Mar 5: Pakistan on Thursday said like India it is also concerned about terrorism in the region and blaming each other for every terror attack was "not good".

Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said mutual cooperation was required to meet the challenges of militancy. "(Terrorism) is a problem that affects all particularly this region," she said.

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"We have our concerns, India has its concerns. Hence, this issue needs to be addressed in a cooperative manner," Aslam told reporters at a daily briefing. She said Pakistan has suffered most because of terrorism and has done more than any other country to counter it.

"We expect similar approach from other countries," she said. Aslam said it was "not good to blame each other for every terrorist attack" and Pakistan expected that at first investigations should be conducted before talking about any incident. India accuses Pakistan of sheltering terrorists and using them to foment unrest in the country.

On the other hand, Pakistan alleges India is helping Baloch separatists. Terrorist attacks have often derailed talks between the two countries, sometimes leading to hostilities. The issue of terrorism had figured during Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar's visit to Pakistan as part of his "SAARC yatra", during the first leg of which he also toured Thimphu, Dhaka and Kabul.

India had called off foreign secretary-level talks at the eleventh hour after Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi held consultations with Kashmiri separatists in August. Jaishakar's Islamabad visit appeared to have provided the two sides to move ahead on the road towards resumption of the bilateral dialogue.

Aslam said Jaishankar's visit took place "in lieu of the August visit as an ice breaker" and it was part of a process. The Foreign Office official refused to characterise the visit as a "failure" as the two countries have not announced the resumption of bilateral talks. "The meeting was held in a constructive and positive atmosphere," she said.

PTI

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