Pakistan rejects allegations of involvement in Dhaka attack

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Monday rejected Indian media reports alleging Pakistan’s involvement in the recent Dhaka attack in which 20 foreigners were killed.
In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria termed the allegations baseless and the reporting of such stories in Indian media “highly regrettable”.
A section of Indian media had reported that Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq and Adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Gowher Rizvi blamed Pakistan and its intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence for the attacks.
“These stories are utterly baseless and unfounded. Pakistan strongly rejects such allegations,” the Foreign Office spokesman added.
Zakaria said Pakistan deeply appreciates Gowher Rizvi’s timely rebuttal to Indian media reports.
Rizvi contacted Pakistan’s high commissioner to Bangladesh and confirmed that the Bangladeshi government did not issue any such statement regarding Pakistan and that Indian media reports in this regard are false.
He also advised Pakistan’s high commissioner to convey this clarification to the government of Pakistan in order to avoid any misunderstanding between the two countries.
Pakistan has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Dhaka and expressed solidarity with the government and the people of Bangladesh, and offered condolences to the families of the victims.
The Foreign Office said that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “Being a victim of terrorism itself, Pakistan welcomes Prof. Gowher Rizvi’s call for international cooperation to fight the menace of terrorism.”
Meanwhile, a Foreign Office statement Monday said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh are making every effort to resolve the difficulties being faced by Pakistan nationals working for Saudi company in Dammam, due to nonpayment of dues.
Around 8,000 employees from different nationalities including Saudi nationals are affected. The number of Pakistanis is about five hundred, who are based at three different locations.
The FO said that the Embassy of Pakistan was in touch with Pakistani employees and the management of the company. The matter has also been taken up with the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Labour and Social Development of Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also taken up this matter with the Government of Saudi Arabia through Saudi Embassy in Islamabad.
The Pakistan Embassy representatives have paid several visits to Dammam to meet the Pakistani workers and raise the matter with the management of the company.
The management has assured the Embassy that efforts were in hand to resolve the matter. Since some workers have filed their cases in the labour court, they were waiting for the court’s verdict.
The embassy was also assisting Pakistani workers in finalization of their court cases. The representatives of the embassy as well as the workers have met with the judge of the relevant court for early resolution of the matter.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh were making relentless efforts to ensure that Pakistan nationals were paid their dues and they were able to return to Pakistan, if they so desire, it added.

Staff Reporter