Media Briefing|

(2015-01-29)

[This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated]

Opening Remarks

At last briefing the issue was raised regarding problems faced by Pakistanis in Iraq. In this regard, our mission has been asked to share a detailed report. We will respond to the query after we have received the report.

The floor is now open for Questions

Question
PresidentObama during his recent visit to India supported permanent membership of India in UNSC despite the fact that India is in constant violation of United Nations resolutions. Do you think US has tilt towards India? ( Khawaja-Nayyaer Iqbal- Kashmir Post)

Answer
The Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs has already addressed this question in his statement two days ago.

Question
What practical tools will Pakistan be using to block the way of India to become permanent member of UNSC? ( Mohsin Raza-Such TV)

We have seen the detailed statement issued by the Adviser; it is interesting to note that the other members of UNSC also do not have clear record as well. Why do we have objection against India only? (Waqas Rafique- Capital TV)

Answer
The issue of Security Council Reform is of vital national importance for all the United Nations Member States. It is in the interest of everyone to seek more democratic, effective and credible mechanism of the maintenance of international peace and security through a comprehensive reform of the Security Council. Pakistan, as a part of the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group has always advocated an effective and feasible reform of the Security Council based on consensus among the UN membership. A reformed Security Council should reflect interests of the wider UN membership. In our view, the idea of new permanent members creates new centers of power and privileges, and could make the UNSC even more undemocratic.

The UN Security Council is the primary organ of the United Nations for international peace and security. As the Adviser pointed out in his statement India is in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and the right of people of Kashmir to self-determination. How does a country with such record qualify to become a permanent member of UNSC?

Question
President Obama during his visit to India announced modalities to produce drones with India. Pakistan has been consistently asking US for providing the technology or transfer of technology. Does it concern Pakistan? ( Zarghoon Shah- GEO TV)

Answer
In his statement, the Adviser also addressed the issue of nuclear agreement between US and India. On conventional side, India’s massive acquisition of weapons further complicates the regional strategic stability. India’s defence spending has increased by 12% in 2014-15 and stands at US$ 38.35 billion. India has been the top buyers of arms for the last three years. In this backdrop, the US-India ten-year defence agreement can only add to the conventional asymmetry and hence strategic instability. Pakistan has been proposing a three pronged Strategic Restraint Regime consisting (i) conflict resolution, (II) nuclear and missile restraint; conventional balance. Pakistan firmly believes that confidence-building and arms reduction in the regional and sub-regional context to be of paramount importance.

Question
Referring to adviser statement in which he also talked about foreign sponsored terrorism, we have seen that in Baluchistan many agencies and countries hostile to Pakistan are creating disturbances. Is Pakistan planning to share strong evidence against those agencies/ countries involved in destabilizing Baluchistan at diplomatic forums?( Mateen Hyder- Dawn News)

Answer
As we have repeatedly said we are not in business of making public allegations and disclosing information through media. We engage countries concerned and we engage the international community. Our concerns and evidence have been shared with all concerned.

Question
Last week was very hectic because our Chief of Army Staff was in China and President Barrack Obama was in India, it is reported Indian Foreign Minister will be visiting China. What are our expectations from China in creating regional stability? ( Shaukat Paracha- AJJ TV)

Answer
China is a global power and it is a factor of regional stability. We are engaged with China very extensively and we believe that globally and regionally China has an important responsibility and role to play for peace, stability, prosperity and development.

Question
Some US retired Generals in a series of testimonies to the Congress that US policies have left some of their allies confused in the war against terror and they fear that the US can lose this war against terror. Do you think this would impact Pakistan’s war on terror? ( Riaz Burki, PTV)

Answer
I would not use that terminology “war on terror”. We are presently engaged in counter terrorism operations. Our counter terrorism strategy entails a number of elements. We have always held the view that military means alone cannot eradicate terrorism. That’s why we have a comprehensive strategy and we believe that international community also needs to have a comprehensive strategy to roll back and eliminate the menace of terrorism.

Question
There are reports that Chinese President plans to visit Pakistan next month. Has any such thing been planned through diplomatic channels? Would you share details of the visit if not the dates?

Answer
The visit by the President of China, that was postponed earlier, is very much on the cards. I don’t have the confirmed dates. We will let you know.

Question
You have stated that China is a reliable friend of Pakistan. Is it possible that in future Pakistan supports China to become a member of SAARC? (Asghar Ali Mubarak- Daily Mail Islamabad)

Answer
China is a very important player globally as well as in this region. Criterion for membership of SAARC is geographical connectivity. China has physical contiguity of borders with 4-5 SAARC countries. China has an observer status in SAARC. I’m not aware that China has evinced interest in becoming a full member of SAARC but China’s engagement has a positive and salutary impact on SAARC. If China’s role increases it would benefit the organization as such.

Question
Considering the fact that US and India have agreed to expand their trade ties to central Asia, How does Pakistan look at that?( Maqbool Malik, The Nations)

Answer
A. Well, the trade agreement or any understanding the US and India may have reached on expanding their trade is their bilateral matter I would not comment on it. We have our own relationship with the US. The United States of America is our major trading partner and also a big investor in Pakistan. We pursue our relations with the US independent of any other country. We do not see bilateral relations in terms of “either” “or”. A new round of strategic dialogue with the US commenced this month. We have 5 working groups covering a wide spectrum of bilateral relations. A sixth one is being formed that relates to education. So we are determined to continue working with the US to promote and expand our relations which are based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

Question
Before President Obama visited India, there was a call that US should prevail over India for ceasing violations on LOC and working boundary. Any update on your side? Going through your earlier statement on their defence pact, should I infer that President Obama’s visit has further created imbalance and spoiled the chances of peace in this region ( Shaukat Paracha- AJJ TV)

Answer
Firstly, we haven’t had a briefing from the US side to know exactly what issues were raised. But as we have been saying, it is our expectation that the US would play a role for peace and stability in this region. As a journalist, you have the freedom to reach different conclusions. I am not going to advise you on what you should infer and what you should not.
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