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PM Aide in Pakistan: We are Not Involved in Kandahar Attack | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tariq Fatemi, special assistant on foreign affairs to Pakistan’s prime minister. (AP)

Riyadh – Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Tariq Fatemi stressed that his country is not involved in any way in the January 10 Kandahar, which killed the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan in addition to a number of Emirati officials.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat during a visit to Riyadh, Fatemi on Tuesday said that the UAE government rejected claims that terrorists had entered Kandahar from Pakistan in order to carry out the attack.

He said that his government urged its Afghani counterpart to purge its areas of extremists.

UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi died in February from injuries he sustained in the January Kandahar blast.

Fatemi noted the importance of Saudi-Pakistani relations, saying: “Saudi Arabia is one of Pakistan’s allies and brotherly countries in the region and this has been Pakistan’s policy since its foundation in 1947.”

He added that Pakistan, its government and people, supports Saudi Arabia in all the political circumstances and situations witnessed in the region.

Regarding US-Pakistani relations, Fatemi explained that the United States has a great effect on the world’s policy and economy.

“Pakistan has enjoyed great political and economic relations with the US since 1947, and maintaining these relations will contribute in preserving stability in the Middle East region,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He also expressed hope to work with US President Donald Trump’s administration to boost relations and work on resolving all issues facing allies in the region.

Fatemi said that some of the challenges facing the world are extremism and terrorism, pointing out that Pakistan has faced terrorism with determination and strength as the Pakistani people and military have made great sacrifices in facing extremism.

“Seeking to combat terrorism with brotherly countries, Pakistan wants to prove to the whole world that there is no relation between Islam and terrorism,” he added.

Fatemi considered the political solution as the best mean to solve conflicts rather than the military one, yet “when a political solution does not work, using force becomes necessary.”

On the other hand, Fatemi stressed his country’s support for the legitimate government in Yemen, and hoped that Syria, Yemen and Iraq would achieve peace very soon.

When asked about his opinion regarding Iran’s support for Houthis in Yemen and for the regime in Syria, the ambassador said that no country is allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of another as it is considered a breach of the UN Charter.