(2017-06-01) [This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.]
Bismillah IrRehman NirRahim Assalaam Alaikum
Yesterday, the horrific terrorist attack in Kabul’s green zone took toll on numerous innocent lives and injured scores. Pakistan condemned the terrorist attack. We pray for the victims, sympathise with the bereaved families and wish for speedy recovery of the wounded.
World has witnessed the worst human rights violations in recent years in Indian occupied Kashmir at the hands of Indian forces and during my last briefing I had referred to Indian force in IoK as criminal. Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, has said in social media that Indian Army Chief has shown criminal leadership, for his backing to the use of an innocent Kashmiri as human shield. Unfortunately and condemnably the Indian occupation forces continue with their brutalities against defenceless Kashmiris. The Kashmiri victims of Indian brutalities have been watching the International Community’s helplessness. In just last 5 days they have martyred more than a dozen innocent Kashmiris, including three in extra-judicial killing. During the last month, 28 Kashmiris were martyred, 945 were seriously injured and many hundreds arbitrarily arrested. We have strongly condemned it and intend to undertake concerted efforts to mobilize International Community, particularly the UN, to take up the issue of bloodshed, use of an innocent Kashmiri as a human shield and deplorable statements made by the Indian Army Chief, which the saner elements even in India have condemned. India continues to violate Ceasefire Understanding between the two countries. This morning, India has carried out unprovoked ceasefire violations in Battal and Hot Spring Sectors of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, resulting in Shahadat of two civilians, and injuries to many.
Today, I want to dedicate a part of my briefing exclusively to the ‘lies that the Indian media has spread’ with regard to the case of the Indian RAW Agent and serving Naval officer, Commander Kulbhushan Jhadev, at the ICJ.
The Fact Sheet I present today is to address certain misrepresentations/false statements/allegations made in the Indian media following the provisional measures order of the ICJ on 18 May 2017. Indian Media, backed by the official quarters, misled people in the two countries by propagating that India has won Commander Jhadev’s case. The discussions that ensued in the two countries showed a complete lack of understanding of the matter.
Indian media, based on the reported briefing by official quarters, called ICJ’s letter dated 8 May 2017, the day India filed its petition, to the Government of Pakistan as ‘Stay on Kulbhushan Jhadev’s execution. This is a lie. ICJ noted that lie.
*The ICJ stated clearly that its decision on provisional measures was not concerned with jurisdiction/merits. The Court considered that Commander Kulbhushan would not be executed until the full hearing. This is nothing unusual.
*Irrespective of ICJ’s stay, Commander Jadhav would remain alive, until he has exhausted the right to request for clemency, initially with the COAS and later with President of Pakistan.
*A full hearing will take place after the Court sets down a timetable on June 8 at The Hague. We have given the Court our arguments on merits and jurisdiction. It has not ruled on ANY of these arguments.
*The Jadhav case at the ICJ concerns whether he is entitled to consular access. Pakistan’s position in this regard has been made clear. We had sought information from India on 23rd January 2017, on the basis of Commander Jhadev’s confession and statements. India has not responded despite reminders.
*In 3 previous cases in ICJ the request for release or acquittal was not granted by the Court. The Court stated that it does not have the power to make such orders.
*Jadhav case purview – The case is about whether Commander Jadhav is entitled to consular access because of the 1963 VCCR. It is NOT about whether the ICJ can act as a Court of Appeal from Pakistani legal proceedings. That is why Barrister Khawar Qureshi informed the Court that India cannot obtain from the Court what it is seeking. He also told the Court that India is using media to create false impression about the case.
*Suspicions were created regarding Khawar Qureshi’s competence. You may note that he is consistently rated by the Legal Directories as one of the UK’s top International lawyers. He was the youngest advocate to appear in the ICJ in 1993 in the Genocide case (for Bosnia against Serbia). He has undertaken hundreds of cases involving various international governments (US, Russia, Italy, Kazakhstan to name a few) before all levels of the English courts, as well as international arbitral tribunals and the International Court of Justice. He has acted or advised on matters involving around 80 different jurisdictions. As an English Barrister he is bound to represent any client without discrimination.
*Contrary to Indian media’s disinformation about Barrister Khawar Qureshi QC’s legal fee, I wish to inform you that he has charged highly discounted fees. He himself covered the costs of his juniors’ fees and even cancelled other professional commitments for another Government in order to assist Pakistan.
* The propaganda that our side did not counter the Indian argument related to 2008 consular access agreement is also a lie. In fact Khawar Qureshi QC read out the entire 2008 Agreement from start to finish in his oral submissions and explained why (contrary to India’s submissions) the 2008 Agreement was relevant, that it amplified or supplemented the Vienna Convention and that it made expressly clear that national security matters were to be decided by each country on the merits.
*There were doubts raised about Barrister Khawar Qureshi due to negative Indian media campaign. For that purpose it would be advisable that all of you go through his CV, and you would know his experience, skills and professional credentials.
Now the Floor is open for Questions
A US General has recently stated that additional surge in the troops in Afghanistan will be a message for Pakistan that US will continue to work for successful outcome in Afghanistan and Pakistan should stop playing the double game and bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table. Your comments please! (Saima Shabbir – Bol News)
Pakistan has continued to emphasize that we desire lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan is affected by instability in Afghanistan more than any other country.
As regards the comments of US General about surge of troops in Afghanistan, it is a decision of the US Government and I have no comments. However, as regards peace and stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan has continued to reiterate that it is our desire that concerted efforts should be made for lasting peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan would benefit more from a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan rather than an unstable Afghanistan.
It is also important that while all of us should continue efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan, the onus of setbacks and failures in Afghanistan should not be blamed on Pakistan. We have continued to emphasize that lasting peace in Afghanistan can be achieved through a politically negotiated settlement. There is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and an approach based on military solution for last fifteen years has not delivered. This point should be recognized.
Pakistan, China and Afghanistan held first round of trilateral cooperation dialogue in Beijing on 27 May 2017. Can you please share details. How it is different from other initiatives on Afghanistan? (Amjad Ali – PTV News)
We have issued a comprehensive Press Release in this regard. The inaugural meeting of Pakistan-China-Afghanistan trilateral on practical cooperation was held in Beijing on May 27, 2017. The meeting was held in cordial atmosphere with a positive and constructive approach to move forward in economic cooperation. The three countries have agreed to focus on enhancing practical cooperation in important areas of trilateral interaction including health, education, infrastructure development, railroad connectivity, energy etc. It was mutually agreed to make these consultations regular process with a view to move forward in enhancing cooperation on major economic projects. Compared to the other initiatives including QCG, which is a political approach for national reconciliation, this meeting was more focused on the economic side, particularly the projects in health, education and infrastructure development sectors. You are aware that due to the conflict situation there for almost 4 decades, the Afghan people are suffering. War has devastated infrastructure there. Assistance is needed in these areas for which China, Pakistan and Afghanistan have come together.
Reportedly, Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) has questioned three Hurriyat leaders in connection with its “Pakistan terror funding” probe. India, through a planned strategy, is trying to malign Kashmiri movement by first portraying stone pelters as terrorists, and now creating a false nexus between Hurriyat leadership and Pakistan’s terror financing in IoK. Your comments on these allegations! (Khawaja Nayaar Iqbal – Kashmir Post)
Indian efforts to portray Kashmiris’ indigenous movement in IoK as foreign funded terrorism are not new. They have been making efforts since long, albeit with no success, to deny Kashmiris their genuine right of self-determination. Let me take you back to the year 2009, when mass graves were discovered in IoK by the International People Tribunal on Jammu & Kashmir. They identified 2700 graves and compiled a report, which is also available on our website. The report revealed that those unnamed and unmarked mass graves belonged to indigenous Kashmiri youth, who were brutally killed in fake encounters by Indian occupation forces. This revelation exposed Indian lies about infiltration from across the LoC and their campaign to malign Pakistan. IPTK’s investigations established beyond doubt that those killed by Indian occupation forces were indigenous Kashmiris and not the infiltartors from across LoC. The world has rejected Indian claims of infiltartion and equating of indigenous movement for self-determination with terrorism.
The scale of the ongoing movement is so wide-spread that no one believes that it could be driven from outside. Young Kashmiris including mostly students, girls and boys, are part of the struggle aginst India’s illegal occupation of Jammu & Kashmir. This is that generation of Kashmiris which has been witnessing Indian brutalities ever since they were born. They have witnessed India’s unabated repression, humiliation and torture of the indigenous Kashmiris. They are victims of treacherous pellet guns, unprovoked firing, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. This generation has been maimed, blinded, tortured, dishonored, abducted and ruthlessly killed by Indian occupation forces with complete impunity. You need to see their sentiments and reaction in this backdrop.
The purpose of India’s portrayal of stone pelters as terrorists, or finding baseless linkages of Hurriyet leadership is to deflect world’s attention from blatant and ruthless human rights violations it is carrying out in IoK.
The struggle of the Kashmiri people against Indian repression is purely indigenous. Pakistan remains committed to extending political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris’ legitimate movement for self-determination. Indian attempts to mislead the world by projecting the indigenous movement for self-determination as terrorism will never succeed.
Reportedly, Indian Interior Minister, Rajnath Singh has claimed that India has found a “permanent solution” to Kashmir issue. Have we approached the Indian authorities diplomatically in this case? Are they planning to speed up the genocide of defenseless Kashmiris? (Mona Khan – Geo News)
The only solution in Indian Occupied Kashmir is not killings and torture, policy that India is following in IoK, but the realization of the Right to Self Determination for the Kashmiri people under the UN Security Council Resolutions.
A UNESCAP report said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could add more tensions in South Asia and fuel more political instability in the region. Your Comments pl. (Shaukat Paracha – Aaj News)
Please comment on Indo-Japan Freedom Corridor vis-a-vis CPEC, and how do you see this corridor with the support of US? Do you think that this will ultimately create rift and friction within the South Asian region? (Faisal Raza Khan – 92 News)
We have repeatedly stated that CPEC is a regional connectivity project which will benefit not only Pakistan and China but also the regions of Central and South Asia as well as the Middle East. This project is not directed against any country. Indian objection to the project does not hold ground as India itself has been inviting international donor agencies to invest in the areas which are under its illegal occupation or are disputed with other countries.
The unresolved dispute of Jammu and Kashmir remains the root cause of tensions in South Asia for more than 70 years. Dream of peace, stability and economic development in the region will remain elusive without its just resolution. India has deliberately escalated tensions along the LoC and the Working Boundary by resorting to unprovoked firing in an attempt to divert global attention from Indian atrocities in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
We hope that international community will play its due role for the resolution of this dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and for the long lasting peace and stability in South Asia.
It is an era of connectivity. Countries in various regions and sub-regions have come together to initiate connectivity projects. Separate projects of this kind could be found in South Asia and South East Asia. BCIM is an example in this regard, which is an initiative to link China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. CAREC is another connectivity initiative.
We have seen that India is constantly heating up the LoC. Afghanistan is also attacking us and our relations with Iran are souring. Should we call it a foreign policy failure? (Shakeel Kalyana)
The nature of Pakistan-India relations is known to all very well. The relationship has always been tense. As regards Afghanistan, that country is in war situation for almost forty years. There are elements active there who are inimical to Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. The vacuum created in Afghanistan due to war has given space to those forces which do not want to see peace in Afghanistan. What you do not see is the relationship between the people of the two countries. Million of Afghanis are currently residing in Pakistan besides the refugees, and thousands have been travel across the border daily for ages. With Iran, we also have a common border and relations are very cordial as manifested in the exchange of numerous high level visits from both sides. Wherever there are common borders, there are issues. There is an institutionalized consultative mechanism called Joint Border Commission, which meets periodically to review situation at the border and sort them out amicably. There are criminal gangs involved in drug and human trafficking along the Pak-Iran border, which are using the route Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran onward to Europe. It is not about the failure of foreign policy. You have to understand and fully comprehend the dynamics and ground realities. Sovereign countries remained mindful of how they conduct their relations.
India has recently started infrastructure development in its disputed border area with China, warranting a strong rebuke from Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. India has a track record of provoking trouble with its immediate neighbours. Your comments please! (Mian Abrar – Pakistan Today)
India has historically had problems with all its neighbours. The problem is its hegemonic designs and ambitions. It had also scuttled the SAARC Summit, which was to be held in Islamabad last year. India continues to be the problem in South Asia and it has to change its attitude and approach towards all its neighbours in order for the region to have peace and development.
Pakistan has always called for amicable settlement of disputes between the countries in this region and beyond in the larger interest of regional peace and stability. India has double standards when it comes to contentious issues. To serve its own interests, India would not hesitate in violating even the Security Council Resolutions and International Agreements, which it has signed.
We have heard reports that a few Pakistani diplomats were injured in the yesterday’s Kabul bomb blast. What is the factual position? (Tariq Sial – Daily Times)
In the aftermath of the Kabul terrorist attack of yesterday, NDS is reported to have issued a statement claiming Haqqani network and Pakistan’s ISI as responsible for the attacks. Your comments please! (Amjad Ali – PTV News)
Afghanistan has cancelled the cricket series with Pakistan on the pretext of cross-border terrorism. Please comment! (Naveed Saddiqui – Dawn)
Recently, we have seen some videos going viral on social media, in which Afghan people have shown their disappointment and hatred towards Pakistan. Are you doing anything to address this situation? (Umar Bilal – Capital TV)
Responding to Mr. Tariq Sial’s question, the residences of our diplomats and staff members were damaged, while some of them also received injuries. I have not come across any reports of loss of life or property of Pakistanis living in Afghanistan. We had issued a press release in this regard.
As regards Afghan claim, we reject the baseless allegations. The accusatory approach is unhelpful towards efforts for peace. Pakistan has suffered from the menace of terrorism and has made unparalleled sacrifices. We have done more than any other nation in the world in the fight against terrorism. Pakistan has highest stakes in peace and stability in Afghanistan. No country gets affected more than Pakistan due to instability in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan is, therefore, beyond any doubt.
It is disappointing that some elements, who have no interest in peace in Afghanistan and want to damage Afghan-Pakistan relations, have been maligning Pakistan for their own agenda.
Pakistan, as the most sincere friend and well-wisher of Afghan people, has contributed to the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, whenever requested.
All recent independent assessments on the situation in Afghanistan suggest that the factors responsible for the deteriorating security situation are internal to Afghanistan. In my previous media briefings, I have repeatedly given references to many reports in this regard such as UN’s Study of 2014, General Nicholson’s annual assessment report on Afghanistan, published on 05 December 2016 and US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, SIGAR’s reports of Jan. 2017. These reports have amply identified the risks and obstacles in the way to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan as internal to Afghanistan. Therefore, mere rhetoric of blaming others to hide their failures in Afghanistan will not solve the problem.
Responding to Mr. Umar Bilal’s question, I think you are being played up by certain elements in social media, who are misleading people. I have already described relations between the people of the two countries.
A report by a Chinese University has claimed that India is “buying” poor Afghan refugees to use them as a fodder for terrorist activities in Pakistan. Your comments please! (Shabbir Waghra – PTV World News)
Indian state involvement in perpetrating terrorism and terror financing in Pakistan is a proven fact. Confessions by Indian intelligence agency RAW’s agent and serving officer of Indian Navy, Commander Kulbhushan Jhadev, have exposed Indian design to destabilize Pakistan and sabotage CPEC. We have already taken up this issue at various forums, of Indian involvement in subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan. The terrorist always use vulnerable elements in the society to carry out terrorist acts, which India is doing.
India also uses Afghan soil against Pakistan. We have taken up the issue of Indian state institutions’ involvement in perpetrating terrorism in Pakistan at all relevant forums and we have also on a number of occasions highlighted that India uses Afghan soil against Pakistan. The report of Indian activities mentioned in your question regarding buying poor Afghan refugees to use them for terrorist activities in Pakistan further exposes Indian negative activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Last modified: November 22, 2019
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