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Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Record of Press Briefing by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson held on 17th September 2015

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Islamabad, September 17, 2015 (PPI-OT): There are no Opening Remarks

The Floor is open for Questions

Question

Two questions related to Afghanistan. First, IS for the first time, reportedly, claimed attack inside Pakistan on our border with Afghanistan? Has Pakistan taken up this issue with the Afghan government? What is the status of IS inside Afghanistan because Pakistan has not been able to confirm whether IS exists there or in Pakistan through their agents?

Secondly, reportedly all Taliban’s factions, even the family of deceased Mulla Omar, have expressed their allegiance to Mullah Mansoor. Has Pakistan renewed its efforts to put all Taliban’s factions on one side and urge them to go into dialogue with the Afghan government? (Syed Mohsin Raza – Such TV)

Answer

I have seen media reports about what you have referred to. Our border posts have been attacked many times in the past from the Afghan side. We wish to have peaceful border with Afghanistan. Accordingly, measures to keep the border peaceful are invariably discussed by both sides during meetings of the concerned officials.

As far as presence of Daesh is concerned, you are aware that there is no footprint of Daesh in Pakistan. However, there are reports of presence of Daesh in Afghanistan, but I will not comment on that. Our policy on countering terrorism is very clear. In this regard, the success of Zarb-e-Azb in eliminating terrorists is well-known to you and the world. We have been extending cooperation to Afghanistan in countering terrorism and will continue to do so.

As to your second question, I have seen media reports about allegiance to Mullah Mansoor that you have referred to. It is an internal matter of Tehrik-e-Taliban Afghanistan (TTA). However, we hope that TTA will give up violence and join intra-Afghan dialogue for peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan will facilitate the dialogue, as before.

Question

I would like to have your comment on the issue of Israeli soldiers entering Al-Aqsa mosque and Pakistan’s position on Palestine. What is the official stance of Foreign Office on this? (Saima Shabbir- A-Jazeera TV)

Answer

Pakistan has always condemned the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israeli violence against peaceful worshippers.

Pakistan supports an independent, viable and geographically contiguous Palestinian State, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital. This is the only way to guarantee lasting peace and stability in the region.

Question

Comparing Pakistan’s relations with US over the past three decades, would you say that now Pakistan has better relations with the US or is there any tension in some areas? (Khawaja Nayyer Iqbal-Kashmir Post)

Answer

Pakistan enjoys close relations with the US. We discuss all issues of mutual interest and concern during bilateral meetings, including under the Pak-US Strategic Dialogue. However, we also have difference of opinion on some issues which is natural in interstate relations.

Question

In your opinion what impact did the visit to Kabul of Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, has had on the reduction of attacks from Afghanistan on Pakistan?

Secondly, what steps are being taken to control the people coming to Pakistan without proof of the residence? Reportedly, fifty thousand Afghans are coming to Pakistan and some of them are also carrying Pakistan national ID cards. (Zarghoon Shah- Geo TV)

Answer

The Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs had visited Kabul on 4 September to attend RECCA-VI meeting. He had availed the occasion to call on the President of Afghanistan and meet with Foreign Minister and National Security Advisor of Afghanistan. All the meetings were helpful in enhancing understanding of the issues of interest and concern to both sides. During the last two briefings, we had talked about some messages that the Advisor had carried with him. The key message related to the need to restore trust between the two countries.

We have said repeatedly that Afghanistan is a brotherly and neighbouring country. Peace in Afghanistan is important not only for the people of Afghanistan but also the people of Pakistan and the region. We remain committed to enhancing our cooperation with Afghanistan in all fields of mutual interest. We also want a peaceful border with Afghanistan which is in the interest of both countries.

I am not in a position to respond to your second question regarding entry of large number of Afghans into Pakistan on a daily basis as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not deal with this issue. However, you may be aware that Pakistan is taking measures to regulate its border with Afghanistan.

Question

It was reported in the media that the Indian Home Minister in his meeting with DG Rangers had said that the part of Kashmir under India is an integral part of India and during discussions with Pakistan on Kashmir, India will only discuss the part of Kashmir that is “under Pakistan’s occupation”. What is our stance on this?

Secondly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is going to attend UNGA session in New York on 23rd September. We hope that his address to UNGA session would have been finalized by now. Can you please tell us what issues will be raised in his address? (Fida Hussain- Radio News Network)

Answer

To answer your first question, I wish to highlight that, according to our information, no such assertion about Kashmir was made by the Indian Minister for Home Affairs during DG Rangers’ call on him. However, I wish to underscore that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute. Statements from India cannot change its status.

The visit program and speech of the Prime Minister are being finalized. The Prime Minister is likely to address UN General Assembly on 30 September 2015. The Ministry will issue a curtain raiser on the visit of the Prime Minister prior to his departure for New York.

Question

The Indian Home Minister said in his meeting with DG Rangers that India will not be the one to fire the first bullet across LoC. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Ufa had also assured that there will be no ceasefire violation at the LoC. However, ceasefire violations at the LoC and Working Boundary intensified after Ufa meeting and, barely two days after the Indian Home Minister’s assurance, ceasefire violation by India took place, resulting in martyrdom of a Pakistani soldier. My question is that the political leadership in India makes an assurance that they will respect ceasefire while the Indian military resorts to firing despite that assurance. Is there any disconnect between the two? (Shaukat Paracha- Aaj TV)

Answer

Certainly there is a disconnect between what is told to us and the ground realities. Let me emphasize that we expect India to honour the commitments given to Pakistan regarding observance of ceasefire.

Question

Media reports have been circulating about the sale of Pakistan High Commission’s Building in UK. Can you please confirm whether this is true? (Majid Jaral- News One)

Answer

I have seen the media reports. A committee was constituted to look into the matter. Its recommendations are under consideration. However, the allegations against our High Commissioner to the UK in this regard are baseless.

Question

I wanted to draw your attention towards reports coming from Jeddah where travel agents are charging money from Pakistanis for issuing Hajj visas which are supposed to be free. Reportedly, Pakistani Consulate General in Jeddah has also advised Pakistanis not to make any payment for visa. Could you please clarify this situation? (Waqas Rafique- capital TV)

Answer

To the best of my knowledge, Hajj visas are issued in Pakistan by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia. They are not issued in Jeddah.

Question

Yesterday, a boat carrying migrants from Libya to Italy had capsized. Reportedly, some Pakistanis also died in the accident. Could you please tell us how many Pakistanis were killed in that incident and what steps are being taken to repatriate their dead bodies? (Amjad- PTV News)

Answer

You are aware that it takes time to gather necessary details after such tragic incidents. I will try to get details regarding your question from our concerned Missions.

Question

What are the impediments in Pakistan’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Who is opposing Pakistan’s membership?

Answer

Pakistan wishes to become a member of the NSG. However, you may be aware that acceptance of a new member requires consensus among NSG member states. Pakistan, therefore, is engaged with them. Pakistan’s non-proliferation measures and the steps taken to further strengthen its export controls are well recognized by the international community. Pakistan is fully committed to non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their delivery systems. Based on its credentials, Pakistan qualifies to join export control regimes including NSG.

Question

Is there a possibility of Pakistani and Indian Prime Ministers’ meeting in New York?

Answer

I do not have anything to share with you in this regard.

Question

UN General Assembly has adopted a decision to continue discussion on reform of the UN Security Council. What is our viewpoint on this?

Answer

There is an ongoing Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) process at the United Nations on the issue of UN Security Council reform. The objective of this process is to achieve a negotiated solution on Security Council reform with the widest possible consensus. As you are aware, there are varying positions and proposals of member states and groups on Security Council reform. There is no agreement so far on any particular reform model.

Pakistan, along with other members of the like-minded Group called “Uniting for Consensus”, supports a comprehensive reform of the Security Council to make it more representative, democratic, and transparent and accountable to the UN general membership. We are opposed, in principle, to addition of any new individual permanent member in the Security Council, because we believe that permanent membership is anachronistic and runs counter to the very objectives of reform.

Question

Recently, four Indians were arrested in UAE on charges of having links with Daesh. How do you see this development? I also need your comments regarding the presence of Daesh in India. (Anwer-Waqt TV)

Answer

It is for the UAE and Indian authorities to comment on the reasons for arrest of Indian nationals in UAE. I have no comment. I also have no comment on the presence of Daesh in India.

Question

A Pakistani named Khalid has been arrested in Bangladesh on charges of being a Pakistani agent. What is the latest status regarding his release and repatriation to Pakistan?

Secondly, you have clarified that allegations against Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK regarding the sale of High Commission’s Building are baseless. However, Pakistani High Commissioner’s Residence in London remained closed for two to three years during Wajid Shams-ul-Hassan’s tenure and he had rented a flat at a very high cost for his residence. Are investigations going on in this regard? (Essa Naqvi-Dunya TV)

Answer

I do not have any information to share with you regarding both the questions. I will try to seek details.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Spokesman
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tell: +92-51-9205494
Fax: +92-51-9204202
Cell: +92-336-5644459
Website: www.mofa.gov.pk

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