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Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 13 April 2017

(2017-04-13) Opening Remarks

Bismillah IrRehman NirRahim Assalaam Alaikum


In last one week (April 6-12, 2017) Indian occupation forces in IOK killed 14 Kashmiris, Injured over 250 while 21 pellet victims may lose eyesight. On 9 April alone, indiscriminate firing, use of pellets and PAVA on peaceful protesters by Indian occupation forces killed 8 civilians of which seven including five students killed in Budgam district and one in Ganderbal district. Next day, they killed 4 more Kashmiris. The available details of the victims are as under.

[Names of victims: (1) Faizan Fayaz Dar (15) A 9th class student of Higher Secondary School Dalwan; (2) Aamir Nazir Rather (20) A 12th class student; (3) Aadil Farooq Shaikh (19)-A 12th class student; (4) Muhammad Abass Jahangir 20 year old student of Higher Secondary School Dalwan; (5) Aqeel Ameen Wani 22-year old student; (6) Shabbir Ahmad Butt (20) a labour; (7) Nisar Ahmad Mir (25) a labour; (8) Aamir Farooq Gania (25) a driver; and (9) Shameema Akther died due to suffocation caused by intense teargas shelling by Indian occupation forces at Tahab in Pulwama district].

We have strongly condemned Indian atrocities in IOK and constantly raise the issue at International Forums and on all occasions. You have heard the deep concern expressed by the OIC SG during his visit this week.

For 5 consecutive days, all mobile communication networks have been stopped by occupying forces in IOK. Kashmiris in prison are facing terror. Kashmiri Leadership remain in detention or under arrest.

India remains involved in subversive and terrorist activities and terror financing in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Yadav is an irrefutable proof. The arrest of 4 terrorists by Sindh Rangers, yesterday, is also a case in point.

Last week has witnessed a number of high level visits to Pakistan on which we kept you updated.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative hosted a reception to mark the proud occasion of Malala's appointment as UN Special Envoy. As did our High Commissioner in Ottawa.

Now the Floor is open for Questions


Question

After the announcement of death sentence to Kulbushan Yadev, Indian EAM Ms. Sushma Swaraj said that India will go to the last extent in this matter and threatened that bilateral relations can be worsened. Indian interference through Kulbushan Yadev in subversive activities is not a new thing. During Bangladesh Prime Minister's visit, Prime Minister Modi once again admitted Indian role in 1971 events in East Pakistan. Has Pakistan raised this matter with the international community and UN?

Secondly, if there is any external pressure or pressure from India regarding the case of Kulbushan Yadev, what will be Pakistan's strategy? (Fayyaz Raja - Channel 92)


Answer

With regard to Kulbushan Yadev what you are referring to is Indian reaction. I will draw your attention to what our Defence Minister has already said, which is Pakistan's stand on the issue. What he said was based on the facts of the case which are: Kulbhushan, a serving Indian Naval Officer, is an Indian Intelligence agency RAW's agent. RAW's involvement in subversive and anti-Pakistan activities is known to all by now. Kulbhushan was caught red-handed involved in this regard. He made confessions about his involvement in espionage, direct involvement in terror financing and recruitment for perpetuation of terrorist activities. His arrest has also helped in averting or foiling other terrorist activities, which he identified himself. It was on the basis of his confessional statement that terrorist networks were dismantled and led to arrest of people aligned with him.

I will also draw your attention towards the press briefing by Minister of Information accompanied by DG ISPR in March 2016 when the arrest of Kulbushan Yadev was made public. A lot of details were also given during that briefing, which you may wish to revisit.

As to your question regarding Prime Minister Modi's statement, it is a clear indication of interference in Pakistan's internal matters. I recall during his address to the Dhaka University students, a confession that how India was involved in the events of 1971 came from such high political level. We had then taken up this issue with the friendly countries and United Nations Secretary General.


Question

I would like to draw your attention towards the German Ambassador Statement that Kulbushan Yadev was caught by Taliban in Iran and then was sold to Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Secondly, Indian media is playing up a misquoted statement of Adviser Sartaj Aziz by saying that evidence against Kulbushan Yadev was not enough to implicate him in the case. How do you see both statements? (Mian Abrar - Pakistan Today)


Answer

As to your first question, I will refer to today's media report in which German Ambassador has given his response in reaction to the statements attributed to him. He has categorically said that he could be wrong in this regard because what he said was on the basis of hearsay.

As to your question regarding statement of Adviser Sartaj Aziz, he was misquoted by the media. We had issued a press release to refute the media report. We have enough evidence against Kulbhushan Yadav. He has made confessional statements. On the basis of revelations he made, we were able to avert a number of terrorist incidents. We were also able to apprehend number of other people and dismantle the terrorist networks. It is itself an irrefutable evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan. We have also submitted a dossier to the UN of Indian involvement in terrorism and terror financing in Pakistan in which reference to Kulbhushan Yadav was made.


Question

There was another intriguing story of Pakistani retired Col. Zahir, missing in Nepal. According to circumstantial evidence, India could be involved in it. At what level are the investigations on Pakistani side going on? (Syed Mohsin Raza - Asas Groups of Publications)


Supplementary Question

It is suspected that Col. Zahir is trapped by Indian intelligence agencies. What steps are being taken by the Government to locate him?

Secondly, did Pakistan explore any option if India comes up with the allegations that he was also a spy, and if India tries to equate Col. Habib with Kulbushan Yadev? Your comments please! (Shahid Maitla - ARY News)


Answer

Essentially, you both have asked more or less the same question. Most details about Lt. Col Habib Zahir are in the public domain. He was a retired army officer, who went to Nepal for a job interview. In view of the emails and subsequent revelation about the fake account etc, it is a case of entrapment. We can't rule out involvement of hostile agencies in his disappearance. The government of Pakistan has taken up the issue with the government of Nepal and is actively pursuing the matter. His family is extremely worried. Government of Nepal is also extending cooperation in the matter.

On your second question, let us not go into any speculations. You are talking about two very different cases. One case (Kulbhushan Yadav's) is about irrefutable evidence of Indian state involvement in Pakistan in terrorism and terror-financing activities.


Question

Indian Prime Minister Modi with oblique reference to Pakistan said to Bangladeshi Prime Minister that "there is one thought in Asia that inspires and encourages terrorism. The priority of that thought is not humanity but extremism and terrorism." How would Pakistan respond to this allegation?

Secondly, though Defence Minister responded to the statement by Indian EAM Sushma Swaraj, how do you see the statement when on the one hand she says that Kulbushan was a son of India, and they can go to any extent to save him, but on the other hand Ms. Sushma says that we will go to Pakistan's Supreme Court and send an appeal to President of Pakistan. Is it not that they are reposing confidence in the legal system of Pakistan, by which Kulbushan was tried? (Shaukat Paracha - Aaj TV)


Answer

As to your second question first, I would again say that what you're referring to is the reaction by India - you have to understand this reaction in the backdrop of what Indian situation is in at the moment: One, the exposure of Indian involvement and that of their state agencies in terrorism and terror financing in a sovereign country, Pakistan; Two, their exposure in the context of their brutality and barbarity the Indian occupation forces are perpetrating in Indian occupied Kashmir. I think you have to see this reaction in the context of this backdrop.

As I mentioned earlier, Kulbushan has proved to be a person who was involved in spying, subversive and terrorist activities. He made confessions in this regard. Due legal process has been followed in his trial. Our Defence Minister has already reflected on this particular case in detail.

As regard your first question, the Indian Prime Minister was referring to the state terrorism being perpetrated by India in IoK. India is not only killing the Kashmiris in IoK but has also declared a war on its own minorities. The ban on cow slaughter is a case in point. India needs to put an end to its extremist, intolerant and terrorist activities and ideology.


Question

Indian occupation forces killed 12 innocent Kashmiris and injured over 100 peaceful demonstrators in IOK in the past week, who rejected the sham By-elections. Besides condemnation, what steps Pakistan intends to take to stop the genocide of Kashmiri Muslims and bring perpetrators to justice? (Asghar Ali Mubarak - Daily Mail Islamabad)


Answer

We have not only condemned the brutalities of Indian occupation forces in IoK, Pakistan has also forcefully raised the issue of Kashmir on various international forums and will continue to do so. We are committed to moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris' indigenous movement for self-determination. We want earliest implementation of the promise made to the people of IoK in the relevant UNSC Resolutions. Pakistan urges international community, civil society and human rights organizations to take steps to immediately halt bloodshed and atrocities by the Indian occupation forces in IOK. India must be made accountable for its crimes against humanity in IoK. Kashmiris' right to self-determination must be given in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.


Question

I would like to draw your attention towards an article published in Indian express, in which it is suggested that the missing Pakistani retired army officer is in the custody of Indian spy agencies. The article also suggests that he was among the team that led to the arrest of Kulbushan Yadev from Balochistan. Your comments please! (Essa Naqvi - Dunya News)


Answer

I have already reflected on a similar question earlier on in my briefing. With particular reference to the article, we do not respond to the media reports. However, briefly speaking, Col. Habib retired years before Kulbushan was arrested. Common sense does not suggest that a retired person could be assigned in such a case.


Question

India has claimed that in the case of requesting consular access for Kulbushan Yadev, it contacted Ministry of Foreign Affairs 13 times, but had no response. Secondly, it is being said that Pakistan is under immense pressure from International powers over Kulbushan Yadev death sentence. Could you give details of these international powers exerting pressure on Pakistan? (Adnan Haider - Channel 5/Daily Khabrain)


Supplementary Questions

What is the procedure of granting consular access to a foreign national who is involved in terrorist activities and is arrested and sentenced? How do you see the recent by-elections in IoK? Earlier on, Pakistan had written to the Indian side regarding getting access to Anil Kumar Gupta as part of evidence in Kulbushan Yadev's case. Is the request still valid after this sentence? (Naveed Akbar - Daily Dunya)

Is there any agreement of consular access between Pakistan and India? (Anwar Abbas - Waqt News)


Answer

Regarding whether we have a consular agreement with India, yes, the two sides signed an agreement in 2008 on consular access.

Responding to earlier questions, in issues related to security or espionage, and political matters, countries exercise discretion in granting consular access. Article VI of the agreement states that in all instances of security and political related matters the merit of the case would be considered.

As to your question regarding elections in IoK, we have repeatedly said that these are sham elections and are not a substitute to the plebiscite to be held under the UN auspices. Pakistan's principled position on this is that the issue of Kashmir has to be decided in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, as promised to them in the outstanding UNSC Resolutions. The issue of Jammu & Kashmir remains on the active agenda of UNSC and its implementation remains awaited.

As to your question regarding Anil Kumar Gupta, we had written to the Indian side, but they did not respond.


Question

We have heard reports about US National Security Adviser coming to Pakistan this weekend. Is it a general visit or does he have a specific agenda? (Qasim Nauman - Wall Street Journal)


Answer

I am not aware.


Question

Whenever people like Kulbushan Yadav are arrested in Pakistan, resident diplomats in the country express their opinion without any hesitation. Do you think that it is in contravention of diplomatic norms? (Khalid Mahmood - Express News)


Answer

Diplomatic norms is a broad term, which may or may not be apply under varying situations. If you are referring to the statement of German Ambassador, you know that it was reported in the media about a year ago, and we don't know the context and circumstances under which the statement was made. However, the subsequent development is very important, in which German Ambassador has said that whatever he stated was on the basis of hearsay and that he could be wrong.


Question

Moscow conference is going to be held tomorrow, who is going to participate from Pakistani side? US is not participating in it. Your comments on this please! (Rabia Pir - VOA)


Answer

I think this question was also asked in the last briefing as well. It is the decision of US and you may ask them about the reason. As regards Pakistan, we are participating at a high level. An Additional Secretary along with others will participate in this conference.


Question

I would like to draw your attention towards recent US strike against Syria. What is our reaction on it?

Secondly, Army has taken Uzair Baloch in its custody on the charges of espionage. Whether we have raised this issue with those countries for whom he was spying? (Ali Husnain - Business Recorder)


Answer

With reference to Uzair Baloch, please refer your query to Ministry of Interior or law enforcement agencies.

Regarding Syria, I have already responded last time that we want all parties to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria. We understand the plight of Syrian people who are suffering for a long time. For addressing the plight of Syrian people, we urge all parties to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Syria.