Pakistani soil not being used against any country, says Dastagir

From left Brazilian President Michel Temer Russian President Vladimir Putin Chinese President Xi Jinping South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi head to their BRICS Summit in Xiamen Fujian province in China on Mon

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Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir Tuesday rejected the declaration of the BRICS Summit in China naming terrorist groups in the region and said there was no safe haven for terrorists on Pakistan's soil.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif will visit Beijing on Friday to discuss a range of issues with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, China said on Wednesday. In fact, the foreign office had said Pakistan was itself a victim of terror.

On Monday, China, and the four other countries that comprise the BRICS group of major emerging economies - India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa - agreed to boost cooperation against terrorist organizations threatening the region.

Defence Expert Qamar Agah lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for managing to bring the issue of terrorism in the main agenda of the BRICS summit.

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Pakistan has denied allegations it harbours terrorist groups. "We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir", said the declaration.

"We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals...."

BRICS did not eplicitly identify Pakistan by name, but Islamabad's links to certain jihadi groups are no secret to the worldwide community, particularly India, China, and the United Nations.

BRICS adopted the declaration at its annual summit in Beijing, which is expected to conclude on September 5. China can successfully defend its position in BRICS and its bilateral commitment to Pakistan, by keeping its hold on sanctions on Azhar at the UN.

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To the apparent surprise of Islamabad, China came out in support of the BRICS declaration slamming Pakistan-linked terrorist groups. "I don't think it is good idea", Hu Shisheng, director of the state-run China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, was quoted as telling news agency PTI.

"All this said, I don't think this will lead to any policy shifts in Pakistan".

Asif tacitly referred to action by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force that forced Pakistan to place LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed under house arrest.

Meanwhile, Asif, in an interview with a private TV channel, acknowledged the existence of some internationally banned organistations operating from within Pakistan and called for imposing restrictions on the activities of those outfits.

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