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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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Make the Facts Clear


Editor,


This is regarding the article "Troops Mass on Chechen Border" carried by your esteemed daily on Sept. 21, 1999. The staff writer quotes high officials of Russia as having accused Pakistan and Saudi Arabia of supporting Chechen fighters. Saudi Arabia reportedly denied the charges. Pakistan has denied such allegations in the Russian media on a number of occasions.


I wish to put the record straight. First of all, Pakistan does not recognize Chechnya as an independent state and therefore does not maintain any relations with it. Pakistan also regards Chechnya as an internal matter of Russia. The allegations of funding the rebels from Pakistani sources is completely unsubstantiated and without a shred of concrete evidence. In this regard, Pakistan has repeatedly called for substantial proofs because no independent source has confirmed these charges or charges of participation by Pakistani nationals in the Dagestan fighting.


Your esteemed newspaper and also Kommersant have also reported on the deportations of four Pakistanis from Russia, along with an equal number of Iranian and Turkish nationals, for disseminating extremist Islamic ideology. This shows that the nationals of other countries are also viewed with suspicion. So, why single out Pakistan for an alleged role in the affair? There may be some Pakistani individuals present in the Caucasus, but Pakistan cannot be held responsible for such people - just as nobody blamed or accused Russia for the "volunteers" who participated in the genocide of Kosovars alongside Serbs.


Pakistan respects the territorial integrity of Russia and sympathizes with it for the loss of innocent lives in the recent acts of violence and bomb blasts. Pakistan remains resolutely opposed to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It shall be appreciated by us and justified on your part to present a factual picture to your readers.


G.H. Bajwa


Press Counselor


Embassy of Pakistan