November 10, 2016| Media Briefing|
(2016-11-10) [This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.]
Bismillah IrRehman NirRahim Assalaam Alaikum dear friends!
Constantly worsening human rights situation in Indian occupied Kashmir remains a matter of deep concern. Most condemnable act was the poisoning of 16 years old Qaiser Sufi, and then atrocities unleashed on those attending the martyred kid’s funeral. Many more hundred Kashmiri youth have been added to hundreds of martyrs and thousands of injured and victims of pellet guns since we last met.
On 6 Nov. Youm-e-Shohada was observed as on that day Dogra ruler with Indian occupation forces and members of terrorist organization, RSS, martyred half a million Kashmiri Muslims in few days time. A further over million Kashmiris have lost their lives to date and their killings by Indian occupation forces are continuing. We salute their courage, pay tribute to their sacrifices and assure them of Pakistan’s steadfast moral, diplomatic and political support.
We have noted the reports of meeting between the three Hurriyat Leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik last Tuesday when they expressed their resolve to remain firm against the Indian brutalities. It was noted that the three leaders had behind them all the stakeholders from IoK including the minority groups. Syed Ali Shah Geelani seemingly enjoys full public mandate to drive the struggle for self-determination of Kashmiris, contrary to the Indian propaganda.
Pakistan condemns continued detention and arrest of Kashmiri leaders, who are peacefully struggling for the right of self-determination of Kashmiris as promised to them in the relevant UNSC Resolutions.
The Presidential election in the US was keenly watched across the globe. The Leadership of Pakistan congratulated the President-elect Mr. Donald Trump on his election victory. The message drew on the decades old strategic partnership, rooted in the shared ideals of freedom, democracy, mutual respect and common interests and reaffirmed commitment to further strengthening mutually beneficial relations.
Now the Floor is open for Questions
As the new President has been elected in US, will Pakistan brief the new US Administration on ceasefire violations on LoC by India and Indian atrocities in IoK. And whether Pakistan will ask them to intervene or mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue? (Asghar Ali Mubarak – Daily Mail Islamabad)
Mr. Trump during his election campaign had said that he would like to play the role of a mediator or arbitrator between India and Pakistan. Mr. Sartaj Aziz also welcomed this offer. With respect to sensitizing the new administration, effectively highlighting the issue of human rights violation in Indian occupied Kashmir, and registering our concern, our efforts will continue. The US is fully aware of Pakistan’s position and sentiments on Kashmir, particularly on human rights violations in IoK. There was reference to Kashmir in the Joint Declaration issued in 2015 during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the US. Prime Minister’s Special Envoys on Kashmir, who visited Washington, also effectively took up the issue with not just the government but also the members of Parliament and civil society.
08 Indian diplomats have been running networks of subversive activities in Pakistan. Would you update us on how many out of these eight have left Pakistan? (Mateen Haider – Such TV)
According to my information, six of them have left.
During British Prime Minister’s visit to India, Britain called upon Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack and the Pathankot airbase attack to justice. However, British Prime Minister Theresa May did not subscribe to PM Modi’s efforts to associate Pakistan with alleged cross border terrorism. How do you assess the recent visit of British Prime Minister to India and its implication, if any, for Pakistan? (Fakhar-ur-Rehman – Such TV/ Turkish News Agency)
The reference in the Joint Statement to Pathankot and Mumbai is uncalled for as both the cases are being actively pursued by Pakistan. Mumbai case is sub-judice. After 8 years India acknowledged the need for providing material evidence from the Indian side, which is essential for the trial.
Britain’s is the oldest democracy and a staunch proponent and protector of human rights. It is sad that the British government has not highlighted the massacre of unarmed innocent Kashmiris including children, being perpetrated by more than 700,000 Indian occupation forces in IoK. The people of IoK rightfully expect the British government to condemn the widespread human rights violations in the IoK, hold India accountable for the genocide of Kashmiris and help resolve Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which is the legacy of the British colonial rule.
Donald Trump has been elected as the next US President. During his election campaign, Trump termed Pakistan as a dangerous country in possession of nuclear weapons. He has also indicated that he would use India to counter this. Will Pakistan be re-assessing its foreign policy in this regard? (Abdullah Farooqi – BBC Urdu)
During his campaign, Mr. Donald Trump indicated that he will take strong measures against immigrants from the Muslim countries. Do you think that Pakistan and the Muslim world will be affected by this new change in the US policy? (Abid Khursheed – ATV)
The Leadership in Pakistan has congratulated the President-elect Mr. Donald Trump on the historic victory in the Presidential elections and, on behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, has extended to him and the American people, the most sincere wishes and greetings on this propitious occasion.
We look forward to closely working with the new Administration in pursuit of our common ideals of freedom, democracy and prosperity. We firmly believe that given the imperatives of peace, stability and security in the region, continued close cooperation between Pakistan and the US is important to successfully fight terrorism and to attain the shared objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity.
Our relation with the US is longstanding and decades old. The political change in the US has come about through a democratic process, which is being followed there for a very long time. Pakistan has always maintained very close relations and bilateral cooperation with the United States. There are numerous areas where both countries have convergence of interests and have worked in partnership on several issues.
We have a strategic dialogue mechanism in place, which has six components. These components are diverse in nature. They take into account economic, defence, science & technology, education, strategic and counter-terrorism matters. I think it is a very comprehensive relationship that dates back to several decades. It will remain our endeavour to promote and strengthen this relationship further and also to work closely on areas of common interest with the new administration. We look forward to work with the new administration for the mutual benefit of both countries.
How many Leaders and Commanders of Haqqani Network and Tehrik-e-Taliban have been killed by US/ISAF strikes in Afghanistan? My concern is that Pakistan is repeatedly blamed for allegedly providing safe havens to Haqqanis and TTA elements, while their entire leadership is in Afghanistan. We also understand motives behind these pressure tactics used by the US and Afghanistan. (Tariq Mahmood – SAMMA TV)
I see your point and endorse it. According to the information gathered from media reports since July this year, 8 leaders and commanders of Haqqani Network alone have been killed in Afghanistan by the ISAF/US and Afghan forces. This makes it evident where the Haqqani elements are located.
My first question is that after the election of new US President, Afghan Taliban have demanded the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. What is Pakistan’s view point on this?
My second question is regarding Gilgit Baltistan. There are reports that the Committee established under the leadership of Sartaj Aziz recommended to grant observer status to Gilgit Baltistan. Can you please confirm these reports? (Fida Hussain – Radio News Network)
In the context of Gilgit Baltistan, the matter is still under process. I don’t have details on it.
As to your first question about Afghanistan, Pakistan has made its position very clear on a number of occasions. Pakistan wishes to see peace and stability in Afghanistan. In this regard, Pakistan remains committed in extending support to all initiatives aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. We feel and believe that peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the entire region. Besides undertaking reconstruction and assistance projects in Afghanistan to contribute to the development efforts and infrastructure building, Pakistan has also been active in the context of reconciliation process in Afghanistan. One of the manifestations in this regard is QCG Process. You are aware of Pakistan’s contribution to this process, in which we played an effective role as a facilitator besides the two other members viz. the US and China. QCG was just a few months old process with which unrealistic expectations were attached where 15 years of military approach couldn’t bring about peace and stability.
The bottom line is that Pakistan supports the efforts to bring warring factions in Afghanistan to the negotiating table with the Afghan Government. We have firm belief that any solution to the Afghan problem is not in the military approach but is in peaceful negotiations. We have supported all such efforts to that end.
Commander of Royal Saudi Air Force General Muhammad bin Saleh Al Qtaibi said that his country is exploring hefty procurement from Pakistan JF-17 Thunder multi-role planes and Super Mashshak trainers for its air force. Can you please share the details and overall outcome of his visit? (Shaukat Paracha – Aaj TV)
The depth and cordiality that exists in the relations between Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia needs no elaboration. The relations are fraternal, deep-rooted and firmly tied by the religious bonds. Presence of 3 million Pakistanis, who contributed to the development of Saudi- Arabia provide a strong foundation to the relations to rest on. Pakistan benefits from the remittances that the country receives from our expatriates there.
Commander of Royal Saudi Air Force General Muhammad bin Saleh Al Qtaibi was invited by Pakistan Chief of Air Staff to witness graduation ceremony of Combat Support Course of PAF cadets, held at the PAF Academy, Risalpur. Pakistan has made significant progress in the field of science & technology as also defense production. Our leadership, during their visits and also with the visiting dignitaries introduce Pakistan’s capabilities in various sectors, including the defense equipment production. The interest expressed by various countries in our aircrafts and trainers is a result of these efforts and recognition of Pakistan’s expertise. Saudi authorities have also shown interest in acquiring JF-17 Thunder Aircraft and Super Mushshak training aircraft. Relevant authorities of the two countries are negotiating in this regard.
My first question is that apart from violations on LoC, India is also violating Indus Water Treaty for last so many years. Recently, India has reduced the water flow in Chenab River has from 40,000 to 10,000 cubic meters. Kindly update us.
Secondly, Prime Minister Modi has withdrawn all 500/1000 rupee notes from India, alleging, inter alia, that Pakistan is printing counterfeit Indian notes for terror financing. Your comments. (Saad Umar – Roze News)
As to your first question, Pakistan would avail all avenues to highlight violations of the Indus Waters Treaty. Therefore, we have approached the World Bank for the establishment of court of arbitration and are looking forward to its establishment at the earliest, in line with the provisions of Indus Waters Treaty. Ministry of Water and Power can be approached to give more details in this regard.
On your second question, we have seen the media reports that the action has been taken on account of corruption, Indian under-world’s black money and the counterfeit currency in the country. As such, this issue is India’s internal matter. It is not Pakistan but India that finances terrorism in Pakistan, the irrefutable proof of which is with us.
My question pertains to grave human rights situation in IoK and India’s continuous involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan. As you mentioned that you have raised this issue at the highest level with the international community. Please tell us how many countries have accepted and acknowledged Pakistan’s claims against India and have taken action in this regard? I am asking with particular reference to the comments made by Chinese and Russian leadership? (Asghar Khan Askari – Khyber News)
With regard to the issue of Kashmir, we will continue to raise this issue at all the international forums until it is resolved in accordance with UNSC Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Kashmir is among the vital national objectives of Pakistan. You asked whether the international community has taken notice. It is not about statements alone. It is also about raising awareness and sensitizing the international community and common man about the plight of defenceless Kashmiris. Kashmiris in IoK have been subjected to the worst human rights violations by Indian occupation forces since 1947, when in November of the same year the brute Indian force intentionally martyred half a million Muslims in one of the world’s most horrific ethnic cleansing episodes. It has continued to date with hundreds of thousands of innocent Kashmiris losing their lives, honour, dignity and eyesight every day in Indian occupied Kashmir.
We have been making efforts for awareness around the world on the issue of Kashmir and plight of Kashmiris. Civil society members, Parliamentarians, Pakistani & Kashmiri Diaspora and members of other important segments of society have initiated peaceful campaigns in North America, Europe, the Nordic Region, South East Asia and other places. The UN High Commissioner for human rights has twice called for sending a fact-finding mission to IoK. OIC, OIC’s Independent Commission on HR and members of OIC Contact Group on Kashmir have also made similar demands. Therefore, the realization, support, concern and the voice about the issue of Kashmir is very much there in the international community.
Regarding India’s systematic and subversive activities in Pakistan, we have been raising this issue for quite some time. In 2009, we took up this matter with India at the highest political level. Then in 2015, we submitted dossiers to UN Secretary General in this regard. The arrest of Indian serving Naval officer, working for RAW, Kulbushan Yadev, who confessed Indian involvement in perpetrating and supporting terrorist activities on Pakistani soil, is a testimony. 15 August statement made at India’s highest political level regarding Balochistan, in violation of UN Charter and International Law on the concept of territorial sovereignty and integrity, furthered proved Indian involvement in Balochistan. Prime Minister Modi’s statement in Bangladesh is on record to have openly admitted to India’s involvement in the events in East Pakistan during 1971. The most recent example of this is the eight Indian diplomats, who were involved in activities detrimental to Pakistan’s security.
We have made our point clear to the international community, which is now in public domain. We have also given exclusive briefings to members of P5 countries, OIC and other regional organizations on Indian involvement in terrorism and terror financing in Pakistan.
Amnesty international has demanded an impartial inquiry into the killings of 8 Muslim prisoners during an encounter with police in Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. India has a track record of fake encounters. The issue of fake encounter has once again come to the fore. How do you comment on the precarious condition of Muslims in India? (Amjad Ali – PTV News)
The situation of Muslims and other minorities in Indian is a serious concern for the international community, who have quite often raised the issue, and the international human rights organizations and the UN HR Bodies have documented the scores of incidents. Even the academia, journalists and prominent people in India share the concern.
There are numerous instances of fake encounters. Most gruesome stories of fake encounters committed by Indian occupation forces are against Kashmiris. In the long list of the fake encounters against unarmed Kashmiris, the discovery of Unnamed and Unmarked Mass Graves in 2009 and documented in International People’s Tribunal’s Report of Nov. 2009, Chattisingpura killing of 37 innocent Sikhs by Indian forces in March 2000 and 2010 episode of Maachil are some of numerous deplorable incidents of fake encounters staged by India.
Does Pakistan plan to raise the issue of Samjhauta Express at the international level? (Fayyaz Raja – Channel 92)
We have raised this issue repeatedly. India has not fulfilled its commitment that it made at the highest political level to share with Pakistan proceedings and investigations of Samjhota Express terrorist attack. This issue is older than the Mumbai attack. In the case of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack the mastermind, Swami Aseemanand, an activist of Hindu terrorist organization, RSS, made a public confession.
Swami Aseemanand identified Colonal Purohit and eight other serving military personnel belonging to another terrorist outfit, Abhinav Bharat, that they were part of the terrorist act. However, India has not shared any details regarding the issue despite our repeated calls. We want and expect India to share relevant details of the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Last modified: November 22, 2019
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