Media Briefing|


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

Opening Statement

On Killing of Palestinian Cabinet Minister by Israel on 10 December:

Pakistan strongly condemns the killing of Palestinian Cabinet Minister, Ziad Abu Ein, by Israeli forces on 10 December 2014. This is an act of barbarism of which there is no precedent.

The continued killing of the people of Palestine must come to an end. Pakistan expects the United Nations, OIC and International Community to play their role in this regard.

The People and the Government of Pakistan share the sorrow of the people and the Government of Palestine over this sad and unfortunate incident and wish to convey their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

Pakistan believes that the establishment of an independent, viable and geographically contiguous Palestinian State, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif, as its capital, is the only way to guarantee lasting peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan welcomes UN Secretary General’s Statement:

Pakistan welcomes the statement by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, offering his good offices, to assist in resolving the long outstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir. This unresolved issue remains the root cause of tension between Pakistan and India, and it’s just resolution is of paramount importance for ensuring peace, stability and development in the region.

The Secretary General’s statement regarding the need to associate the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the process, while respecting their rights, is deeply appreciated.

Pakistan firmly believes that the final disposition of the Jammu and Kashmir issue should be in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people, to be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, as enshrined in relevant Security Council Resolutions.

Pakistan remains committed to a sustained, unconditional and result-oriented dialogue with India, to discuss all outstanding issue, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, is leading Pakistan’s delegation to the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)’s Council of Heads of Government, being held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 14-15 December 2014.

The SCO comprises six Member States, five Observers and three Dialogue Partners. Established in June 2001, the SCO aims to strengthen friendly relations amongst states and contribute to peace, stability and security in the region.

Pakistan subscribes to the principles of the SCO contained in its Charter. As an observer of the SCO, Pakistan has been making substantive contributions for regional peace, security and development in SCO Heads of State Council and Heads of Government Council meetings. It is a matter of satisfaction that Pakistan’s request for membership of SCO is under active consideration of SCO members.

Kazakhstan and Pakistan are close friends with common history and cultural affinity. The SCO represents a forum for increased cooperation between Pakistan and Central Asia. Political, economic and security cooperation between the Pakistan and SCO Member States is growing ever stronger, and is a source of stability and prosperity for the region.

The Adviser, during his visit, may also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Heads of Government meeting.

Now the Floor is open for Questions

As you said you welcome the statement of UN Secretary General, so your reaction or the Foreign Office reaction will remain just welcoming or there will be some practical steps involving the UN Secretary General in practically resolving Kashmir issue? So will there be next step other than welcoming this? And if it is done then what would be the modus operandi?

Secondly, do you think India will accept any initiative taken by the United Nations in resolving Kashmir dispute? (Mateen Haider, Dawn News)

The Kashmir issue remains on the agenda of UN Security Council. The UN observers are present on the Line of Control and in the two countries. There are various measures and steps through which this dispute is highlighted and we remain engaged with the United Nations both in New York and in Geneva. Also, the Prime Minister’s policy statement during the UN General Assembly was a manifestation of highlighting the Jammu and Kashmir issue at the UN forum.

About India, I would not comment on what India’s reaction. In any case, the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir were accepted by India as well. They are relevant and applicable. Hence it is not a matter of choice.

Recently the Senate of the United States has revealed that CIA used harsh interrogation methods against terror suspects including some Pakistanis. Following the report, the US has issued advisory for its missions and nationals particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Abbas, Asia TV)

I am not aware of the name of any Pakistani in the report and I understand no nationalities are mentioned anyway. As regards the advisory, countries’ have the right to issue advisory for their citizens.

I would like to go back to the Senate report of CIA torture, of course no names or nationalities have been mentioned in the report but Pakistan has been mentioned as one of the places from where detainees were taken. There have been a lot of international condemnations of this sort of torture. Does Pakistan have any reaction on this report? (Sophia Saifi, CNN)

We have seen some excerpts of the very lengthy report. We have also seen the reactions. We deplore the systematic torture of the detainees at various locations by CIA. The Senate Intelligence Committee report reinforces, what we have said all along, that international human rights and humanitarian law must be respected while countering international terrorism. We have also emphasized the need for transparency. We have noted the assurances by US Administration, including at the highest level, that this behavior would never be repeated again.

Reportedly there are about 300 conversions to Hinduism of Muslims. What is Pakistan’s reaction? (Syed Mohsin Raza, Such TV)

These are press reports. I would have to check this information.

It is reported in the media and the relevant sources have confirmed it that Pakistan has been handed over some wanted terrorists like Latifullah Mehsud whether they were handed over by the United States or Afghan authorities? How about other people Pakistan has been asking Kabul to hand over like their sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan etc? (Mr. Shaukat Paracha, AAJ TV)

In such cases, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only helps liaise but actual details and modalities for transfer are handled by the Ministry of Interior. You may like to take your question to them. As regards sanctuaries, I would again draw your attention to the understanding and commitment by the leadership of Pakistan and Afghanistan when the Afghan President visited Pakistan that we would not allow our respective territories to be used against the other side. That commitment remains.

While talking to Indian Lok Sabha Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swarajwarned China to refrain from building infrastructure in Azad Kashmir. Your comments on this, please. (Zarghoon Shah, Geo TV)

How China responds to that is China’s decision. As regards development projects in Azad Kashmir, we will go ahead with them. These projects benefit the people of Azad Kashmir I may draw your attention to projects India is constructing in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

There has been a terrorist attack on armed forces in Kabul. What is the reaction of Pakistan on it? (Khawaja Nayyer Iiqbal, Kamsir Post)

Frankly, I have not seen the reports; therefore first we have to check the details. But we condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

There is a news about ex-US diplomat Robin Raphael that she betrayed her country to spy for Pakistan and that is supposedly shocked the foreign policy establishments in Washington and Islamabad. Any comments on that? (Raza Zaidi- Channel 24)

First, your information is wrong. No country has been mentioned. There are obliviously speculative reports particularly in the Indian media. I would not comment on those. As regards the investigations, we gave our comments. Please check our website.

At the recently concluded London conference on Afghanistan, all countries including Pakistan expressed the desire and pledged their role to the construction and bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan. I am curious to find out if Pakistan has a role apart from security cooperation. Is Pakistan building schools, roads or hospitals in Afghanistan? If you have any figure can you share with us? (Waqas Rafique- Capital TV)

We have allocated five hundred million dollars for development project. Many infrastructure, roads and connectivity, hospitals and other such projects are under construction. I do not have the list right now but it can be provided to you.

First of all, I would like to draw your attention to the point that your opening statement should have included some note or compliment about Malala Yousafzai’s Noble Award.

Secondly, I would like to ask you that there are many threats for the Noble laureate in Pakistan. Is there any chance if she would like to come to Pakistan and will Pakistan take the responsibility of her security?(Saima Shabbir- Aljazeera TV)

Obviously, we are very proud of her achievement which has been acknowledged and felicitated at every level. I do not know if she intends to return to Pakistan and when. As regards the threats, unfortunately, as we have said repeatedly, due to the developments in our regions over the last thirty years, Pakistanis have confronted a security situation. We are countering that Pakistanis are a brave nation, determined to overcome these challenges.

Do you have any information on establishment of new Indian pickets on LOC as earlier it was on working boundary? (Anwar Abbas, Waqt TV)

You may check that with ISPR.

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