July 28, 2016| Media Briefing|
(2016-07-28) [This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.]
Continued violation of Kashmiris’ right to live and freedom of expression by the Indian occupation forces in Occupied Kashmir (IoK) remains a matter of grave concern to Pakistan.
Now the Floor is open for Questions
The APHC leadership is under continued detention in IOK, but Kashmiris are firm that they will continue their movement despite atrocities by the Indian security forces. What are the comments of Pakistan on the determination of Kashmiris?
Secondly, Indian MP Mr. Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia in Lok Sabha said that there should be plebiscite in Kashmir. However, after few hours he said that by plebiscite he means dialogue. Your comments.
There are reports Mr. Rajnath Singh, the Indian Home Minister, is going to visit Pakistan. He is also a former BJP President. What issues will be discussed during his visit especially on the sidelines of his visit? (Shaukat Paracha – Aaj TV)
For the last 68 years, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been struggling for their right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir dispute. The Indian government has been indulging in state-terrorism as a tool to suppress the just struggle of Kashmiris. We condemn killings and human rights violations in IoK. We also condemn the detention and house arrest of the Hurriyat leadership and urge the Indian government to release the Hurriyat leadership.
The solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute lies in the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions i.e. free, fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices to enable them to exercise their right to self-determination.
I am aware of media reports in this regard. We have noted the concerns expressed by saner voices from within India over blatant human rights violations by the Indian Forces, calling into question the killing of innocent and unarmed Kashmiris, especially over the serious injuries to the eyes of several hundred Kashmiri youth. India should heed to these voices.
I understand that Mr. Rajnath Singh is coming; it is a SAARC meeting. On such occasions, there is an expectation of meetings on the sidelines. However, I am not aware if there any between Pakistan and India on the table.
The Pakistani death row prisoner Zulfiqar Ali who is going to be executed tomorrow has filed an appeal to the Pakistani Government. Is Pakistan going to pursue the appeal at the highest level since less than 24 hours are left to execution? (Shamaila Andleeb – APP)
Since 2004, when he was arrested, we have been in contact with the Indonesian Government as well as with Zulfiqar Ali. We have also had consular access on occasions. The issue has passed through a judicial and legal process. The lower court issued a verdict against him which was upheld by the higher court, after which review petitions were filed twice but it got rejected.
We are aware of the information that has appeared in the media about the trial and we have taken up the issue appropriately through diplomatic channels as well as at the political level.
Rest assured we have made all efforts. Our efforts are continuing and we will not lose hope.
Last week, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, in his key points, stated that he would request for a fact finding mission to be sent in regard to the situation in IoK. Has Pakistan taken up this issue with the Human Rights Council in Geneva and secondly, the UN General Assembly annual session will be held September; is Pakistan planning to add this to its agenda? (Mateen Haider – Dawn News)
We have taken up the issue very forcefully. You are well aware of the level at which this issue has been taken up, as well as the strong sentiments of all Pakistanis. The Adviser has sent letters to the Secretary General United Nations, President of the United Nations Security Council, the Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva and the Secretary General of OIC. OIC SG as also the Organization has issued a strong reaction on the gross abuses of human rights; calling on India to stop the atrocities in IoK.
Every year, the subject of Kashmir is an essential part of UN deliberations and we voice our concern on every forum; even at our bilateral meetings with any country. This year will be no exception. We always emphasize in our interactions on the implementation of UN resolutions and on the blatant violations of human rights by Indian forces.
Reports say that the suspect behind the attack on the US consulate in Jeddah is in fact not a Pakistani. Your comments please. (Kashan Akmal – Seven News)
Regarding the stranded Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia; what steps is the government taking?
Mr Rajnath Singh is expected to visit Islamabad soon; are we expecting the Kashmir issue and Samjhauta Express terrorist attack in which India has exonerated those involved in the terrorism to be added to the agenda of the meeting? (Mudasir Hussain – Khyber News)
As to your first question, I am aware of the reports that the alleged terrorist was an Indian and not a Pakistani. I had also seen the initial inaccurate reports. That is why we do not usually comment on unconfirmed media reports. Such matters are dealt with by the Interior Ministry and you get further details.
As regards the query on Pakistanis in Dammam and elsewhere who have not received their dues, we are fully cognizant of the issue. There are thousands of people from many countries who are facing this issue, including many Saudi nationals. I have responded a few days back also in detail that Pakistani Embassy in Saudi Arabia is helping our Expatriates in the situation in every possible way. We are pursuing the local authorities and company’s administration for provision of proper medical facilities and food. Affluent Pakistani nationals have also extended their support through our Embassy. We are trying everything possible in our capacity and vigorously pursuing the Companies to solve the issue as soon as possible. We are in constant contact with the Saudi authorities as well. I have also learnt that His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia has issued a decree ordering settlement of employees’ dues by the Companies.
As for Mr Rajnath Singh’s visit, both countries will discuss issues of their concern and work towards solutions, if the meeting on the sidelines takes place.
Posts related to Indian atrocities in IoK as well as related to Mr. Burhan Wani are being deleted by Facebook. Facebook and other social media sites keep their eyes shut when malicious posts against Pakistan posted. Will Government of Pakistan take up this issue with Facebook? (Essa Naqvi – Dunya TV)
Tripartite talks between Pakistan, Afghanistan and US opened in Kabul today between the border security forces of the two neighbors. The Pakistan delegation was led by DGMO. Do we foresee any cooperation among the two countries against Daesh also?
Secondly, there are reports that Hafiz Saeed was discussed in these meetings. Who is this person?
Thirdly, what is the fate of Pak-Turk schools? (Rabia Pir – VOA)
Representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US have met in Kabul to discuss issues pertaining to Border Management and security. This is the first interaction of DGMOs of the two countries at the technical working level since the setting up of high level consultation mechanism. The two sides welcomed creation of the mechanism and agreed for continued engagement.
I will not comment on other parts of your question which relate to media reports. In such meetings issues are discussed and in this particular meeting the focus was on security and border management issues. This meeting took place because of Pakistan’s concern at cross border movement into Pakistan, which is responsible for the many terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Likewise, Afghanistan and the US have concerns regarding cross border movement from this side. Therefore, it was essential to evolve a mechanism to regulate cross border movement.
Pakistan has very close and brotherly ties with Turkey. We are aware of the Turkish concerns. Both the countries’ authorities are in touch with each other to address the Turkish concerns while also remaining cognizant of the importance of avoiding disruption in the academic activities of the sizeable number of students. In essence, in keeping with the cordial relations between the two countries, we are maintaining a close contact with Turkey to address the issue in a manner that fully addresses Turkey’s concerns as also of the students.
On the query regarding Facebook, I have seen the regrettable reports. This should be an eye-opener for the international social media organizations where their employees from India or other nationals of Indian origin are manipulating and violating the freedom of rights and expression. Facebook, as a neutral social media, should take note of such exploitation and take necessary measures including punitive action against such elements. Facebook and other social media should be more balanced and objective in its approach in dealing with internationally recognized disputes. All options are being considered for dealing with this situation.
I want to ask about the welfare of Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia, other than Dammam. There are many employees of countries other than Pakistan that are also stuck there. But I have heard that other countries embassies are giving them a stipend of 1200 Riyal and food a month. Pakistani employees are in trouble because they are not getting a stipend and they have also not been paid for the last seven months and their passports are also with their employers. (Anwar Abbas – Waqat News)
I have already responded to this question in detail.
Are the developed world, UN and other multilateral agencies including EU, Human Right Commission and Amnesty International not complicit in the brutal human rights violations in Kashmir? Why are all these bodies quiet on state terrorism of Indian security forces in IoK? When there is issue related to Pakistan they make a lot of hue and cry. It is now estimated that there are eight hundred thousand Indian soldiers in occupied Kashmir. This is the highest soldier/citizen presence in the whole world and along with Kashmir specific laws is a recipe for killing maiming and brutalizing Kashmiris. This makes Occupied Kashmir the biggest concentration camp in the world. (Fakhar-ur-Rahman – Turkish News Agency/Such TV)
My question also relates to human right abuses in IoK. There is a huge problem of medical supplies-doctors and nurses not reaching injured Kashmiris even in Hospitals. Should Pakistan not send medical teams and also approach Red Cross in this regard? We are already helping at the political, moral and diplomatic level but they need medical help and supplies. (Asghar Ali Mubarak – Daily Mail Islamabad)
The presence of around 800,000 Indian troops in IoK is a clear example of forced occupation and imposition of control against the wishes of the Kashmiri people and to terrorize those who have been demanding their fundamental rights and do away with the illegal Indian occupation. It is unfortunate that the call for the implementation of the UNSC resolutions, which enable their inalienable right to self-determination, is seen by India a “sin” of the Kashmiri people.
The International community is indeed aware of the alarming situation in IoK resulting from killings of innocent civilians and blatant human rights violations by the Indian forces, with complete impunity. As a result of the brutal and lethal use of force, around 60 innocent Kashmiris have been martyred and more than 5000 are injured, with 400 in critical condition. More than 120 people, including children, have become permanently blind due to the use of pellet guns used by the Indian forces. Curfew in different parts of IoK with complete media blackout should be a matter of grave concern. People have been denied access to food and basic emergency services. There have been incidents of violence, harassment, teargas shelling in hospitals, to prevent access to hospitals and movement of ambulances.
Indian efforts to misguide the international community by portraying indigenous movement for self-determination as an act of terrorism will never succeed. The killings of innocent Kashmiri people cannot be condoned under the alleged pretext of “terrorism”. The just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination cannot be equated with terrorism. I am reminded of the 13th OIC Summit’s Final Declaration, which, inter alia, also underlined that Kashmiris’ movement for self-determination must not be equated with terrorism.
We are aware that the entire Pakistani nation at home and abroad as also the Kashmiris across the globe are anxiously waiting for the international community’s condemnation of human rights violations in IoK and for a call to India to stop the bloodshed in IoK and fulfill its human rights obligations and commitments under UNSC resolutions.
I would again draw your attention towards the proposed Pakistan-India dialogue. If you want peace you have to talk to your enemy. But our Defence Minister recently said that in these circumstances talks are not on the table. While Pakistan and India border forces are going to hold talks on border issue, why can’t Pakistan and India talk? Please Respond. (Mian Abrar – Pakistan Today)
I think you are referring to Composite Dialogue between Pakistan and India. Kashmir remains at the centre of Pakistan India relations. Pakistan has a principled position on the issue of Kashmir, which is: Pakistan extends unflinching moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris’ movement for self-determination; we condemn atrocious treatment and blatant violations of Kashmiris’ rights at the hands of Indian forces in IoK; and settlement of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. In any dialogue with India, Kashmir will be the core issue.
As regards the border security forces meeting which is going on and they have a concluding session tomorrow. This recent meeting of border security forces of two countries is part of the agreed routine arrangement between two sides to discuss the operational issues under a protocol that dates back to the 60’s.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and condemned the terrorist attack. Pakistan always offers support on every terrorist incident in Afghanistan. But still Afghan leadership continues to spill venom against Pakistan. How with this attitude Afghans could expect cooperation from Pakistan? (Amjad Ali – PTV)
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his message to the Afghan President has reiterated commitment for deeper cooperation with Afghanistan in fighting the scourge of terrorism, which is our common enemy. We have repeatedly stated that blaming each other will not help solve problems faced by the region. The Government of Pakistan remains committed to the vision of a peaceful neighbourhood and good neighbourly relations. It remains our hope that our goodwill gestures will be reciprocated.
We have repeatedly said that hostile statements only serve those who do not want peace in Afghanistan and such sentiments should be refrained from. These sentiments are based on misperception, which have been created by those averse to peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. Pakistan has consistently reiterated that it desires lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Terrorism is a common enemy. Pakistan is engaged in a serious effort for combating terrorism and extremism. Our National Action Plan aims at eliminating terrorists without discrimination. Afghan Government’s cooperation in counter-terrorism would be helpful in eliminating this menace.
Joint statement at the end of the National Security Adviser’s visit to Iran calls for a joint border commission to oversee border security in fighting against the threat of Daesh. But the statement did not cover the Pakistan’s prime concern of RAW’s activities in Pakistan through the Iranian territory. (Kauser Lodhi – Prime News)
I have not been able to see the Joint Statement. These are media reports, which you are referring to. According to my information, Pakistan has remained in touch with Iranian authorities regarding the formulation of an institutional mechanism to improve coordination, communication and information sharing between our respective border security agencies through discussions in the meetings of institutional mechanisms such as the Joint Border Commission and the Special Security Committee since the past one year. This desire stems from the resolve of both sides to curb the menace of drug and human traffickers, as well as improving co-ordination in preventing and eliminating emergent terrorist threats in the respective border areas for both countries. We shall continue to remain engaged with the Iranian side till the realization of these objectives. I think it covers your question regarding Iranian soil being used by some other countries against Pakistan.
Rangers official Col. Qaiser in a briefing to the Senate Panel of Human Rights said that MQM is getting financial support from UK, Thailand and South Africa. Your comments. (Tariq Siyal – Daily Times)
This question should be directed to the Interior Ministry
Last modified: November 22, 2019
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