FO dismisses claims of US setting up ‘regional Drone Hub’ in Pakistan

India's unrelenting antagonism and regressive actions poisoned atmosphere, thwarted peace hopes, Mumtaz Zahra

Pakistan dismissed the claims that it had shown a readiness to the US to permit a “regional drone hub” on its territory as part of their ongoing counterterrorism conversation.

“The subject was not discussed (regional drone hub). There is no need for conjecture about that topic because it was not on the agenda and was not discussed,” Foreign Office Spokesman Mumtaz Baloch said at the weekly media conference.

She clarified that Pakistan was really quite pleased by the recent counterterrorism discussion with the US. “Because terrorism is a problem for the entire globe, it was a fantastic chance for the two sides to address counterterrorism-related concerns. We spoke about combating violent extremism, cyber security, and collaboration in global forums. Of course, issues related to capacity-building, particularly in anti-money laundering, were also discussed. As you are aware, Pakistan has already created a highly effective mechanism in accordance with the FATF procedure to prevent money laundering and the flow of funds to terrorist organizations,” she added.

The spokeswoman emphasized that Islamabad and Washington were close allies and that their interactions were always focused on what was best for both nations.

The spokesman was also questioned over Indian media claims that Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had skipped a SCO gathering in New Delhi.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan will be unable to attend the SCO Meeting of Chief Justices of Supreme Courts scheduled from March 10 to 12, 2020, due to unavoidable obligations on those days. Therefore, he apologized to his Indian colleague, who is the meeting’s current chair and host, said Baloch.

When asked if Pakistan would attend the upcoming SCO meetings, she responded, “Pakistan considers the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be a significant organization, where Pakistan regularly participates and we will continue to participate in all activities and contribute positively to its outcomes. Now, with regards to the in-person involvement you spoke about, we do not currently have any firm conclusions.

According to the spokeswoman, Pakistan has consistently pushed for peace and dialogue in South Asia in response to questions about a US intelligence report presented at a US Congressional hearing that said it anticipates increased tension between India and Pakistan and India and China, with the possibility of a conflict between them.

Sadly, India’s unrelenting antagonism and regressive actions have poisoned the atmosphere in the region and thwarted hopes for collaboration and peace, she added.