Questions & Answers Session of Pakistani foreign office
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Questions & Answers Session of Pakistani foreign office

Islamabad : Pakistan | Mar 09, 2012 at 4:19 AM PST
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Chinese & Pakistani Military Positioned Along Indian Border - India On Alert - (LoC)

Ahsan Premee

Associated Press Service

Question

According to the media reports, there has been some discussion going on between former Indian and Pakistani army commanders? What is its significance and is it the part of any policy planning?

Answer

I am not aware if any such discussions are taking place. These discussions, if any, are in the private realm and not part of any government policy.

Question

It has been reported in Indian media that Pakistan has decided to go ahead with a new approach towards India which would include freezing of the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Is there any policy change like this? Secondly, there has been a case in Supreme Court of Pakistan which is of domestic importance but yesterday Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mrs Hasina Wajid, has alleged that Mrs. Khalida Zia had received money from ISI during the elections there in the 1990s. How would you like to respond to her allegations?

Answer

You would agree with me that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is about the people of Kashmir; it is about their inalienable right to self-determination. There is, therefore, no question of freezing this issue or putting this core dispute on the back burner. Realistically speaking, nor it can be done.

On the 5th of this month, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, in her address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, urged the Government of India to repeal, among others, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.

Kashmiris have given enormous sacrifices in their legitimate struggle. The democratic Government and the people of Pakistan strongly believe that the settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions is essential for viable peace in south Asia.

Doubtless, we are taking steps on the path to normalize Pakistan-India relations, but reaching the final destination will inevitably be contingent upon realization of Kashmiris’ aspirations.

Regarding your second question, I would refrain to say anything beyond that it is part of their national politics. So it is better not to comment on that.

Question

There have been resolutions in the US Congress on condemnation of the situation in Balochistan. Separatists are now staging protest rallies in Geneva. What is the Foreign Office doing to handle this situation inside the country? There must be some internal briefings on the situation in Balochistan for ambassadors posted in Islamabad. Secondly, the soil of a few countries including Switzerland, the UK and the USA is being used for anti-Pakistan activities. Has the Foreign Office done anything in this regard?

Answer

The Government of Pakistan has been trying to handle the situation politically. This is our internal matter. We will deal with this issue in our own constitutional political way. I can assure you that the Foreign Office and our Missions abroad are engaged to ensure that this issue is not exploited to damage Pakistan. Regarding your reference to activities in Geneva, our Mission in Geneva is active and will ensure that the issue is not portrayed in a manner that some detractors of Pakistan are trying to do. We have made demarches to the relevant governments on these issues and we have been assured that their respective territories would not be used for anti-Pakistan activities. Last week, we made a demarche with the Embassy of Switzerland in this regard.

Question

What is the current status of the issue of Siachen. A heavy military presence of both India and Pakistan is also creating environmental hazards in the region. Your comments please?

Answer

We hope that the issue will be resolved as quickly as possible. And this issue is part of the resumed dialogue process with India. We are looking forward to the resolution of this issue as well as all the other bilateral issues, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.

Question

What do you say about the reported visit of General James Mattis? Any news about the reopening of NATO supply routes?

AnswerNo date of the visit has yet been decided.

Question

It is has been reported that the US is going to open a Consulate in Balochistan. Do you have any comments?

Answer

I don’t think any decision has been taken in this regard. There was a request by the US some years ago. However, our government has not taken ay decision on their suggestion.

Question

The Foreign Minister has been frequently interacting with media during the last few days. She seems upbeat about peaceful resolution of situation in Iran. What is the reason for this optimism that Iran will not be attacked by the US? Secondly, What Pakistan is doing on diplomatic front to avoid any such drastic escalation in the region?

Answer

Primarily, our optimism stems from the fact that all the actors involved are rational actors and they would not like to see this region being plunged into another conflict. President Obama has rightly said that there is a “window of opportunity” for diplomacy. There is a desire by all stakeholders to resolve this issue peacefully. We would like to hope that all concerned parties would exercise utmost restraint and avoid escalatory steps. We will continue to encourage all the parties to resolve differences through dialogue.

QuestionHow does Islamabad look at the situation in Syria? China has already expressed its response.

Answer

Our position is clear. We want this matter to be resolved through dialogue. We strongly believe that sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria should be preserved.

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apsnewspk is based in Islamabad, Federal Capital Area, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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