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Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 13 July 2017

(2017-07-13) [This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.]


Opening Remarks

Bismillah IrRehman NirRahim Assalaam Alaikum


We have kept you informed on the outcome of the 44th Session OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, which ended yesterday. Foreign Affairs Adviser, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, represented Pakistan. On the sidelines of 44th session, OIC Contact Group on Kashmir also held its meeting. In the outcome documents of the Ministerial meeting and the Contact Group, OIC member states have strongly condemned state terrorism in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir and called upon India to immediately stop the bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris. They called upon both India and the International Community to implement UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir. APHC leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were not allowed by Indian occupying authorities in IoK to participate in the 44th OIC session of Council of Foreign Ministers.

The 56 Member Council of the Foreign Ministers recognized Kashmir as the core issue between India and Pakistan and underscored that its resolution was the key to ensuring lasting peace and security in the region. The Council rejected Indian attempts to equate Kashmiris' indigenous movement for self-determination with terrorism.

Solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiris of IoK has been expressed across the world in the form of peaceful demonstrations across the UK, Europe and North America. Kashmir dispute's reflection in the UK's Labour Party's election manifesto, and in the 19 Jan. debate in the House of Commons of the UK, represent increasing concern over the current unacceptable human rights situation in IoK.

Killing of defenceless Kashmiris in IoK continues unabated and with impunity. During this week, the occupation forces have martyred 6 Kashmiri youth, injured 95, detention of Hurriyat Leaders continues and offering of Juma prayers has been denied. Height of atrocity is that the mourners are not allowed to attend the funerals. We condemn the continued grave human rights violations and heinous crimes committed against Kashmiris by the Indian occupation forces. Indian forces are committing unprovoked ceasefire violations at LoC, which has martyred innocent civilians, including children, in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. We strongly condemn the deliberate targeting of civilians.

Today, on 13th July Kashmiris are observing 'Youm-i-Shuhdah' to commemorate the unprecedented sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris in 1931. We pay tribute to Shuhdah and express solidarity with Kashmiris in their struggle against Indian unlawful occupation of their territory.

We congratulate World Number 1 Flyweight boxer Muhammad Waseem, Badminton Champions Irfan Saeed and Azeem Sarwar, Asian Snooker Champion Muhammad Sajjad, Queen's Young Leaders Award winner Faizan Hussain, under- and 18 World Snooker Champion Naseem Akhtar. As I speak, many Pakistanis around the world are making Pakistan proud.

Now the Floor is open for Questions


Question

My question relates to Colonel (R) Habib Zahir. It has been almost three months since he went missing in Nepal. Do we have any update on the matter? (Tariq Sial - Such TV)


Supplementary Questions

We had earlier requested Indian High Commission for assistance in Colonel Zahir Habib's matter. Has the Indian High Commission responded so far? (Amjad Ali - PTV)

We had approached Nepal government to send an investigation team to Nepal, who would assist in the ongoing investigations of finding Colonel Zahir Habib. What is the response of Nepali authorities on that so far? (Essa Naqvi - Dunya News)


Answer

We are constantly in touch with the Government of Nepal. I mentioned earlier that we have also sent official communication to the Indian High Commission in the context. The investigations are ongoing; our Mission in Nepal is constantly in touch with the relevant authorities. Any update or progress in this regard will be shared.

I have noted your supplementary questions regarding sending of investigation team to Nepal and update on our communication to Indian High Commission. I will get back to you after checking the status.


Question

Indian External Affairs Minister said that medical visas to Pakistani patients will be issued only if every application is supported by a letter from Adviser Sartaj Aziz. What is Indian design behind this move, which is insane? (Saima Shabbir - Bol News)


Answer

It is highly regrettable that India has placed such restrictions on visas for patients who are suffering from serious and terminal illnesses. Asking for a letter from the Foreign affairs Adviser is against the diplomatic norms. Such a requirement has not been prescribed for any other country. We are making suitable alternative arrangements, both within Pakistan as well as in friendly countries.


Question

Reportedly, a Chinese think tank has said that at the request of Pakistani Government, China can send its military in Indian occupied Kashmir as India did in the case of Sikkim sector on behalf of Bhutan. Is there any contact between China and Pakistan in this context? Your comments please! (Syed Mohsin Raza - Asas Group of Publications)


Answer

We do not comment on media reports.


Question

India has a track record of staging terrorist attacks and putting the blame on Pakistan as they did in the case of Amarnath Yatra terrorist attack. Your comments please! (Sheeba Mahar - Daily SAMAA)


Answer

We condemn killing of innocent civilians. We sympathize with the bereaved families and the injured. Indian agencies have a track record of staging false flag operations. Chattisingpora massacre of 38 innocent Sikhs in March 2000 is one of the cases in point.

In the context of Amarnath attack, the Kashmiri leadership in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir has condemned the killings. On social media, a number of Indians have highlighted that last time when Yatris were attacked was in August 2000, then also BJP was in government. Some have pointed finger at RSS and BJP government, who want to put the blame on innocent Muslims. In this regard, @Sanjivbhatt, @SitaramYechury and @ShielaDixit are some of those who tweeted.

India has for long tried to taint the indigenous Kashmiri movement for self-determination in IoK by equating it with terrorism, which the international community out rightly rejects. Their lies about infiltration and external support to indigenous movement for self-determination in IoK stood exposed when International People's Tribunal, an NGO in IoK, discovered 3,000 mass graves in 2009. Their findings in a 112 page report established the fact that Indian occupation forces had been killing local Kashmiris, mostly youth, in fake encounters using false pretext of infiltration from LoC and the bogey of terrorism.


Question

In occupied Kashmir, on the first death anniversary of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, authorities have deployed 20,000 paramilitary forces in the Valley in addition to over 700,000 fully armed forces to prevent the protests. What is Pakistan's reaction on the deteriorating situation in IoK? (Khawaja Nayaar Iqbal - Kashmir Post)


Answer

The Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute. There are unimplemented resolutions on the agenda of UN Security Council for the last 7 decades. Dream of peace and stability of 1.5 billion people in the region will remain elusive without its just resolution in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

Pakistan has consistently maintained that the Jammu & Kashmir dispute can be resolved only through realization of the right of self determination through a fair, free and transparent plebiscite under the auspices of the UN in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

The use of human shields as was done in IoK has no place in the civilized world. The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs has written to the UNSG, President of the UNGA and the HRC in this regard. With Indian atrocities in IoK continue to intensify; it's time that Int'l Community takes concrete measures immediately to stop the bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris.


Question

Reportedly, a leading member of Special Investigation Team (SIT) who was part of probing Samjhauta Express terrorist attack said that Azmat Ali, a Pakistani citizen who was earlier linked with the incident has no role in it. This underscores proven fact that the attack was carried out by Hindu terrorist organizations RSS and Abhinav Bharat! We also know that Swami Aseemnand and Colonel Purohit have already been bailed out. Your views please! (Shaukat Paracha - Aaj TV)


Answer

It is reprehensible that there has been no progress on the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack case in which 42 innocent Pakistanis lost their lives despite the passage of 10 years and repeated requests from Pakistan. India needs to focus more on bringing the perpetrators of this act of terrorism to justice instead of indulging in spurious allegations. Despite assurances at the highest political level India has not shared information.


Question

There are reports that China is willing to play a constructive role in improving relations between India and Pakistan. Your comments! (Ishtiaq Ahmed - VOA)


Answer

I understand you are referring to Chinese Spokesperson's statement. We share International Community's growing concern over the deteriorating situation on LoC due to Indian belligerent posturing, to divert international attention from its atrocities in IoK. Pakistan believes in resolving all issues through dialogue. UN SG, US President, Chinese Leadership and others have expressed concern and offered to play role in lessening the tension and resolving the core issue of Kashmir, which we have welcomed.


Question

Reportedly, in serious violation of Indus Water Treaty, India has stopped the ninety percent water of Neelam River, which can adversely affect generation capacity of Neelam-Jhelam power project. Your comments please! (Shabbir Wahghara - PTV World)


Answer

M/o Water & Power and Indus Water Commissioner may be in a better position to respond to your query.


Question

Reportedly, India is not sharing flood information with Pakistan despite being bound under the Indus Water Treaty. Indian non-cooperation can cost human lives and damages to properties, of the common people. Your comments please! (Tariq Mahmood - SAMAA TV)


Answer

Flood information sharing is crucial especially during the monsoon season. I will refer your question to the M/o Water and Power, the line Ministry for this issue.

The Indian position on trying to make the Indus Water Treaty dysfunctional or ineffective is known. We urge the Government of India to honor its international legal commitment, including the Indus Waters Treaty.


Question

Reportedly, due to frequent Indian ceasefire violations, there is skepticism that the 2003 ceasefire arrangement may be dead. Your comments please! (Amjad Ali - PTV)


Answer

The Indian occupation forces are continuously engaged in ceasefire violations on the LoC and the Working Boundary. The villages and populated areas are being targeted by the Indian occupation forces. India has deliberately escalated tension at the LoC and the Working Boundary in order to try to divert the international community's attention from the grave situation in IoK. Indian forces have committed 542 ceasefire violations in 2017 so far with 18 shahdats. On 8 July 2017, Indian ceasefire violation resulted in the death of 5 civilians including 4 girls. Pakistani armed forces have given a befitting response to such provocations. However, Pakistan has no desire to escalate the situation and we have reacted with maximum restraint.

The Indian belligerent attitude is a threat to regional peace and security, and Int'l Community including the UNSG has expressed concern. We have consistently maintained that the role of the UNMOGIP in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions is crucial. It is paradoxical and farcical that India on one hand alleges infiltration as an excuse for its ceasefire violations and at the same time prohibits UNMOGIP access.


Question

Indian External Affairs Minister said that no response from Pakistan has been received regarding the visa issuance to the mother of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadev. What is Pakistan's response in this regard?

Secondly, Indian EAM has linked the issuance of Indian medical visas to Pakistani patients with the visa to mother of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadev. What are your comments? (Ali Husnain - Business Recorder)


Answer

Regarding your second question, I have already responded to a similar question.

As to your first question, the request by India is being considered in Pakistan. As you know commander Jhadev, a serving naval Indian officer is involved in multiple acts of espionage, subversive activities, terrorism and terrorism financing in Pakistan. He has been sentenced to death and investigations still continue based on the information that he continues to provide of his accomplices and networks operating in Pakistan.


Question

Reportedly, President Ghani has threatened that Taliban should accept peace process or be ready to be included in the international list of globally designated terrorist. What's your comment?

Secondly, reportedly, Adviser Sartaj Aziz will visit Afghanistan shortly to carry out what was agreed between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Has the dates been finalized for this visit? (Essa Naqvi - Dunya News)


Answer

On your first question, Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The focus should be on a politically negotiated settlement under an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. We believe the focus should be on exploring political incentives that can attract Taliban to negotiations. In the same spirit, Pakistan has welcomed the peace deal with Hizb-i-Islami and we believe that this can serve as a model.

Regarding your second question, I am not aware of any such visit at this point in time.


Question

Recently, Amnesty International has issued statement saying that chemical weapons are being used in IoK. What is our take on that?

Secondly, can we hang Kulbhushan Jadhev regardless of what ICJ decides, because Americans have hanged two Mexicans and one German citizen in cases of similar nature? (Anwar Abbas Waqt)


Answer

As to your second question, I would suggest you refer it to Attorney General's office.

I have not seen Amnesty International's report that you are referring to, so I won't be able to comment. However, there are media reports regarding use of chemical in ammunitions, which are in public domain since December 2016, showing photographs, etc. and you must have seen them.


Supplementary Question

Will Pakistan demand international investigation into use of Chemical weapons in Indian Occupied Kashmir? (Essa Naqvi - Dunya News)


Answer

It is for the relevant international organizations to take note of the reports and investigate.


Question

Recently, Afghanistan and Pakistan had decided to launch a Joint Operation along Pak-Afghan border, any update on that? (Rabia Pir - Radio Mashal)


Answer

I do not have any information in this regard.


Question

A few days ago, Minister for SAFFRON in a seminar requested International Community to help in the return of Afghan Refugees. He said there are over 40 lac Afghan refugees present in Pakistan. Foreign Office, on the other hand, has said that many of them have already left. Can you let us know the exact number of Afghan refugees currently residing in Pakistan? (Changez Khan Jadoon - Khyber News)


Answer

Your question has been noted. I will get back to you with the relevant information.


Question

Reportedly, after the kidnapping of two Pakistani diplomats, two more Pakistani citizens namely Nasir Ali and Mahmood Ahmed have been abducted in Afghanistan while coming to Pakistan. Do you have any information on the incident and have we taken up the matter with the Afghan Government? What is the update on two Pakistani diplomats? (Shahid Maitla - ARY News)


Answer

As I informed you in my previous briefing that two officials of our Consulate in Jalalabad went missing while travelling from Jalalabad to Peshawar. The matter was immediately taken up with the Afghan government and since then efforts are being made for the safe return of the missing officials. In the meanwhile, we have seen reports that two more Pakistani nationals are missing in Afghanistan. Pakistan Embassy in Kabul has taken up the matter with Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our missions in Kabul and Jalalabad are constantly pursuing both the cases with Afghan authorities. Efforts are on for the safe and early recovery of our nationals in Afghanistan. We are coordinating with the Afghan authorities in this regard.