April 26, 2013| Media Briefing|
(2013-04-26)[This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.]
There are no opening remarks. The floor is open for questions.
Would you please share the names of the countries that have allowed overseas Pakistanis to vote abroad?
The matter is under consideration in the Supreme Court. As soon as a decision is taken by the Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our concerned missions abroad will extend all possible facilitation for conduct of polling for overseas Pakistanis.
As for countries where polling could be held, the Election Commission has identified nine countries for polling. The Ministry has received concurrence of the host governments of seven countries and is awaiting the concurrence of the remaining two. We have received concurrence from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Australia, Canada and UK. Concurrence is awaited from United States* and UAE. (*The US has also just given its concurrence).
i) Recently high level trilateral core group on Afghanistan met in Brussels but little information was shared with media. Could you please share the details and decisions taken during the meeting?
ii) During the meeting, it was seen that General Kayani was leading the Pakistani delegation and Foreign Secretary was missing from the picture. What does it reflect? Moreover, Pakistani delegation was scheduled to meet President Karzai at the sideline of the meeting but which could not take place due to some differences between Pakistan and Afghanistan, could you please tell what those differences were?
iii) Technically speaking Chief of Army Staff works under Federal Secretary. How could Foreign Secretary remain under Army Chief in the delegation?
The meeting in Brussels was a continuation of the high level contacts between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. The meeting agreed that a sustainable reconciliation process was essential for the achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan. During the meeting it was also agreed to pursue political, security, and economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. As you are aware, Pakistan has always affirmed its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and we will continue to do so.
As for the level of participation, this was a meeting of the trilateral core group in which attendance has been at varying levels in the past. The important point for us is that our delegation firmly put across our perspective that Pakistan would like to see a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan for the sake of peace in the region.
As for atmospherics, the meeting was held in a positive and constructive atmosphere. This was also mentioned in our press release.
Would you please clarify the situation of Zaireen stranded in Iraq? What is the number of the Zaireen?
We have learnt that the Iraqi government has presently stopped entry of Zaireen to Iraq for elections and security reasons. The Foreign Office had issued an advisory in this regard. As for any stranded Pakistani Zaireen, we have instructed Pakistani Embassy in Baghdad to extend due assistance to anyone stranded at the border. Our Embassy has also taken up the matter with the M/o Interior and M/o Foreign Affairs in Baghdad and the Foreign Ministry here has taken up the matter with the Iraqi Embassy in Islamabad. All intending Pakistani Zaireen are again advised to check with the Embassy of Iraq before departure even if they hold valid visas.
As for the numbers, I do not have a confirmed figure because there are varying reports.
There are some reports in local media that North Korean diplomats have been selling illegal goods in Pakistan. Could you please confirm these reports?
I have seen these reports and requested Protocol Division to check and ascertain facts from the concerned Embassy. As soon as I get a response from my protocol colleagues I would be able to say more about it.
Recently aircraft crashed in Afghanistan and Taliban have kidnapped some foreigners including Russian and Turkish. Has the Turkish Embassy accessed Foreign Office for release of their citizen?
Yes we have seen reports about the kidnapping. We have no information about their whereabouts. I do not have information whether the Turkish Embassy has contacted us. I would however like to add that we condemn all acts of terrorism and would like to cooperate with all concerned, as required.
There are some reports in British and Pakistani newspapers regarding conviction of four British Muslims in connection to acts of terrorism. It is reported that three out of them are Pakistani origins and there are allegations that who got training from Pakistan. What are you comments?
We believe that any terrorist committing any terrorist activity must be brought to justice. As for your question regarding terrorist camps, there are no such camps in Pakistan.
The press has reported bilateral dispute between India and China. What are your comments on it?
We do not comment on the bilateral issues between other countries.
Last modified: November 22, 2019
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