Al-Qaeda-like groups can raise heads again: Pakistan

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WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani has stressed Pakistan’s firm belief in having a closer cooperation in the region and observed that the emergence of extremist and violent organisations was the outcome of instability and violence all over the world.

Jilani warned that the extremists groups like Al-Qaeda could gain strength and raise their heads again.  He was speaking at a reception he hosted at the Pakistan Embassy for Washington-based correspondents of US print and electronic media.

Pakistan looked forward to closely working with the new administration of president-elect Donald Trump, he said.

Jilani emphasised that the convergence of interest between the two countries on several issues would likely strengthen the bilateral relations in the future.

Pakistan had a very comprehensive and meaningful discussion with the outgoing Obama administration and the people who had been designated in the new US administration, knew Pakistan very well, he added.

Answering a question, Jilani remarked that Pakistan had successfully launched a campaign of historical proportion to address the menace of terrorism. He expressed the hope that Pak-US cooperation would be further strengthened in the fight against terrorism by revisiting the sale of F-16s and Coalition Support Fund issues.

He stressed Pakistan’s firm belief in having a closer cooperation in the region and observed that the emergence of extremist and violent organisations was the outcome of instability and violence all over the world.

Jilani reiterated that Pakistan had not seen any organised presence of ISIS in the country but was concerned about its growing influence in Afghanistan.

On Indus Waters Treaty, he said Pakistan had requested the World Bank to play the role of an administrator in terms of the legal and technical objections raised by Pakistan on Kishan Ganga and Ratle hydro-power projects; however, India had requested for appointment of neutral expert which, Pakistan believed, had a limited mandate.

The technical expert would tend to focus only on technical aspects whereas legal aspects would not be considered, he stressed.

Jilani reiterated that Pakistan would like to engage in a sustained meaningful dialogue with India in order to resolve all the outstanding issues peacefully.

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