Chaudhry Ahsan Premee
Associated Press Service
Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that we strongly condemn the killing of 6 innocent Afghan Red Cross workers. We condole and sympathise with the bereaved families.
Foreign Office spokesman added that India is constantly violating ceasefire at the LoC, which resulted in the loss of lives of the innocent civilians. Indian belligerence continues to pose threat to the peace in the region, which the Int’l Community should take note of.
Foreign Office spokesman added that Indian occupation forces have placed Hurriyat Leaders under arrest to keep them from observing peaceful protest on the anniversary of Afzal Guru, a case of miscarriage of justice. India Army soldiers barged into a coaching centre in Lassipura village of Pulwama district on Tuesday and thrashed students and teachers mercilessly. The students were dragged out and beaten ruthlessly with guns injuring many. Indian police vandalized J&K Liberation Front office in Kupwara distt.
Foreign Office spokesman added that joint Resistance Leadership, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have called for a complete shutdown to observe martyrdom of various Kashmiri leaders, who laid their lives for the legitimate cause of Kashmiri people, protested against non-state subjects / non Kashmiris running medical centres. The members of High Court Bar association have demanded settlement of Kashmir dispute in accordance with UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir, under a UN supervised plebiscite.
Foreign Office spokesman added that Kashmiris have rejected a draft bill by the sham government that gives police AFSPA like powers, which will convert J&K into a more lawless state. This is deplorable. According to Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) 8000 Kashmiris in IOK have been disappeared.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that as to your first question, I have seen the media reports and will share more details once received.
Let me tell you that our High Commission in London is in contact with the British authorities regarding this matter.
With regard to your second question, you may like to check with the Ministry of Defence for a response.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that this issue has come up many times in the past and I have also given detailed replies on the subject. You may like to refer to my earlier response on our website. Deportation of nationals of various countries from the Gulf and Western countries is not specific to Pakistan but the nationals of various other countries also get deported regularly. Violation of the local laws, when committed by the members of expatriate communities, result in the deportation of the offenders. Singling out one country in the context reflects the intention of those pushing such reports. Export of manpower to meet the other countries’ labour market requirement from Pakistan is mutually beneficial for both the sides. Our Diaspora abroad have not only contributed to the economy of Pakistan but also in the development of the countries of their residence.
With regard to your second question, what you are referring to are media reports on which we do not comment. I am not aware of the status of those who may have been deported. Our Missions remain in contact with the relevant authorities. Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
As to your second question, we are in touch with the new Administration in D.C. and have been assured that no proposal to include Pakistan in the list of banned countries is under consideration. US Embassy in Islamabad has also issued a statement to this effect.
As regards the visit, Pakistan and the US do have regular high level exchanges and we look forward to maintaining the momentum in our exchanges.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism, including the Indian state sponsored terrorism in Pakistan as well as in Indian occupied Kashmir. I have mentioned this on many occasions that Indian involvement in perpetrating terrorist activities and terror financing in Pakistan has been proven. The dossier on Kulbhushan Yadav and other details of Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan have already been submitted to the UN Secretary General last month. Earlier also in 2015 we had submitted dossiers on the details of Indian subversive activities in Pakistan. The Indian state terrorism against the defenceless Kashmiris in IOK is also a case in point.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Indian defence build-up, both nuclear and conventional, is a direct threat to Pakistan and the region, at large. India completed its plan of nuclear triad recently with the commissioning of nuclear capable submarine. It has been building Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles and Anti-Ballistic missile system. It has stockpile of fissile material for producing nuclear weapons outside the IAEA safeguards. It is also building a secret nuclear city in South India, which according to Foreign Policy investigative report, is to produce thermonuclear weapons.
With conventional weapons balance already disturbed, India’s nuclear weapons build-up has dangerous proportions to tip the strategic balance and endanger the peace of the region and beyond. The perils of such an uncalled for defence build-up should be seen in the backdrop of Indian Defence Minister’s statement on reviewing the ‘nuclear no-first use’ and admission by the Indian Army Chief about their ‘Cold Start doctrine’, which confirmed Pakistan’s claims and justified our credible minimum nuclear deterrence.
International Community should take note and check Indian rapid expansion in conventional and nuclear weapons.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Pakistan has been invited to the meeting and we are likely to attend. The evolving situation in Afghanistan and its bearing on the regional peace and stability is expected to be reviewed. Pakistan is committed to peace in Afghanistan and extends sincere support to the initiatives to that end. It is a new initiative.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Pakistan is committed to see peace in Afghanistan. You recall, Pakistan’s participation in the Heart of Asia Conference has a similar stance. And world had seen the attitude of one country, which actually exposed that country. Pakistan’s participation at the conference was a manifestation that Pakistan is fully committed to efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. Understandably, the meeting in Moscow is about the situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan is deeply committed to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and extend sincere cooperation in all such initiatives that are aimed at bringing peace in Afghanistan.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that you are well aware that the main bone of contention between Pakistan and India is the issue of Kashmir. Indian posture towards Pakistan has remained hostile. India doesn’t want to engage in meaningful dialogue with Pakistan. Our policy of good neighborliness is aimed at securing regional peace and prosperity. We believe that South Asian Region holds a lot of potential from which the people of this region stand to benefit. Pakistan remains open to a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues, particularly the issue of Jammu & Kashmir, in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. However, our overtures and initiatives have not been reciprocated from the Indian side.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that regarding the question on Samjhauta Express terrorist attack, despite India’s commitment at the highest political level, they have not shared any evidence to date with us. Instead, with the passage of time, they have even exonerated. Swami Aseemanand, the RSS leader, made a public confession that he was the mastermind of that terrorist act and Col Parohit, then an active service Indian Army officer, who headed another terrorist organization Abhinav Bharat, was also involved. They worked in tandem with IB, RAW and other agencies of India.
Pakistan has and will continue to raise the issue of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack not only bilaterally with India, but also with the international community. Let me reiterate at the cost of repetition that Pakistan has noted with deep concern India’s attempts to exonerate those who have publically confessed of their involvement in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism, especially Indian state agencies’ sponsored terrorism, about which we have informed the International Community previously also. Such remarks clearly violate the UN Charter and respect for sovereignty of a member state. Unfortunately the domestic politics in India has been used to further anti – Pakistan agenda by the BJP Government.
The Kashmiris have ridiculed the statement by saying that ‘India is aware about the possible results of referendum in Kashmir and that is the reason they are resorting to such meaningless statements. They also rejected Home Minister’s assertion that Kashmir belongs to India. The remarks by the Indian Home Minister do not merit further comments.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that I have said it in the opening remarks also, that the situation at LoC, which India is heating up for quite some time now, where violations by the Indian side has crossed more than 400 times in a few months, should be a matter of serious concern. We have raised this issue repeatedly with the international community bilaterally and at various forums, and how this Indian belligerence is dangerously impacting peace and security in the region.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that I presume you mentioned about the briefing done by Foreign Office with reference to Kashmir Solidarity Day. We also reiterated during the briefing, the perils of escalating tensions resulting from India’s continuous violation of the understanding of ceasefire in 2003. More importantly, the loss of innocent civilian lives is a matter of major concern.
It is now evident that the main reason India tries to heighten tension at the LoC is to divert world’s attention from the grave human rights violations it is carrying out against defenceless Kashmiris in IoK. India lies about infiltration from across the LoC from Pakistan side, which after the discovery of 2009 mass graves in IoK has proved to be a white lie. International People’s Tribunal’s report in its findings stated that those found in the mass graves were indigenous Kashmiris and linked them to those thousands who had disappeared and were killed by Indian occupation forces in fake encounters. There are detailed accounts by British authors in which it has been reflected that those who disappeared, their tortured bodies were found in rivers, wells and jungles. A few things are very evident. Indian posture is perilous for regional peace and beyond. India is trying to hide behind the blame game to deflect attention from its atrocities in IoK and it is definitely trying to use every opportunity to malign the indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris in IoK, as an act of terrorism. India has failed in its design and world has rejected the Indian notion.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Pakistan had rejected the Indian claim as a it was nothing but a fake propaganda by the Indian side. ISPR has already issued a statement in this regard, and have also taken the local and international media personnel to that area, where they saw no signs of what India falsely claimed as surgical strikes.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that the Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia Process is likely to be held in Baku next month.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that on the issue of Kashmir, Pakistan’s stance is very clear. Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination, as promised to them under the relevant UNSC Resolutions, and the implementation of which is to be through a free and fair plebiscite under UN supervision. We have, on numerous occasions raised the issue of forced disappearances and crimes against humanity carried out by Indian security forces with absolute immunity in IoK. We have said repeatedly that it is crime against humanity and perpetual genocide by India in IoK.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that these exercises are regularly held and as you mentioned, a number of countries are participating in it, including Russia. You are also aware of the events, which are happening in this part of the world, and how Pakistan is interacting with the International Community. You have also seen the outcome of many high level visits from and to Pakistan. With reference to the statement of the Indian Prime Minister, you can judge that they have miserably failed to isolate Pakistan. In the process, India itself stood exposed and may be feeling isolated. We have a number of events and incidents to quote where they tried to isolate Pakistan, but could not succeed. I am not going into the details. I think it is very unfortunate on the part of India that instead of responding to the positive gestures, which Pakistan has been showing to resolve the issues peacefully and amicably, India has adopted a hostile posture, which is detrimental to the regional peace and stability.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that defence Cooperation between the two countries is an important component in our multifarious bilateral relations, which is progressing well under the said agreement. Both sides are interested in enhancing cooperation in various areas of mutual interest. For further details on Defence Cooperation, you may contact M/o Defence.
As regard the PIA Flight, we have taken up this issue with the British authorities. I can tell you one thing that in case of matters, which we think cause inconvenience to our people or have impact on our national interest, we strongly take up the issues.
As regard the missing persons, are you referring to media reports or there are some specific cases? In this context, I can say that whenever any issue is brought to the attention of Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or our Missions abroad, we have always taken immediate action. Not only that our mission gets in touch with the local authorities but we also remain in contact with the families. You can also share the details with me and I will refer those to the concerned quarters.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Russian Energy Minister is already in town. The ongoing visit of the Russian Minister is to discuss the technical aspects and other related details of the Pipeline project. The negotiations are progressing well. For further details, you may consult the M/o Petroleum & Natural Resources.
With regard to the visit of Russian President, I do not have information at this point in time.
Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that as regard the ECO Summit, it is going to be held according to the schedule. Most of the countries have already confirmed their participation at the leadership level. The preparations are in hand and Insha’Allah we will hold a very successful Summit. “Connectivity for Prosperity” is the theme of the Summit. More details will be shared in the coming days.
As regard to US sanctions on Iran, I would like to say that Pakistan has longstanding relations with the United States and we would like them to further strengthen them. Both sides constantly interact with each other to that end.
Iran is Pakistan’s neighbor and a brotherly Muslim country with which we cooperate on various forums besides bilaterally. Our relations are longstanding, cordial and diverse. Under the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘peaceful neighbourhood and shared economic prosperity’ we remain committed to consolidating our relations with all the regional countries including Iran.