September 15, 2022| Media Briefing|
Office of the Spokesperson[This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated]
Let me at the outset refer to the continuing grave human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
The unabated wanton state-terrorism by the Indian occupation forces resulted in martyrdom of three more young Kashmiris in fake encounters in Shopian and Islamabad districts of IIOJK. This brings total extra judicial killings since 5thAugust 2019 to 670 and since 1stJanuary 2022 to 150.
Today the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is the world’s most heavily militarized zone, which has in fact been turned into the world’s largest prison – where people are not allowed to speak freely; APHC leadership, youth, journalists, civil society and human rights defenders are jailed and silenced.
This is an unacceptable and condemnable situation. Pakistan strongly urges the international community to call upon India to end its gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK, revoke its illegal and unilateral actions since 5 August 2019, and free all political prisoners including the true Kashmiri leaders.
Let me reiterate that a just, peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people is indispensable for lasting peace in the region.
As you would have followed, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif left for Samarkand this morning for two-day visit to attend the annual Meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Besides attending the SCO Summit, the Prime Minister would hold bilateral meetings with other participating leaders on the sidelines. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other Ministers and high officials are part of the delegation.
SCO is a major trans-regional organization spanning South and Central Asia. Since becoming its full member in 2017, Pakistan has contributed towards advancing the Organization’s core objectives through active participation in various SCO mechanisms.
Earlier last week, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed the High-Level Segment of the first United Nations Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism organized by the UN Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT). He urged the international community to make protection and promotion of the rights of victims of terrorism a basic tenant of global efforts to promote peace and security. The Foreign Minister expressed solidarity with the victims of terrorism all over the world and paid special homage to the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Palestine and emphasized the need to counter state terrorism, especially in cases of foreign occupation.
On 9th September, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the British High Commission in Islamabad to convey condolences on the demise of Queen Elizabeth-II. He penned remarks in the condolence book and paid tribute to the services of the late Queen. Earlier, the Prime Minister also wrote a letter to the British Prime Minister conveying condolences for the Royal Family, the British government and the people. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also visited the UK High Commission and signed the condolence book conveying profound sympathies on passing of the Queen.
On 12 September, on behalf of the people & government of Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveyed sincere good wishes to His Majesty King Charles III on his accession to the throne.
Let me now turn to the flood response – the main challenge faced by Pakistan right now, with over 33 million of our compatriots affected by this unprecedented climate calamity that has taken over 1400 lives and injured more than 13000 people. Besides huge damage to critical infrastructure and services, over 1.7 million houses have been damaged or destroyed, nearly 800,000 livestock have perished, and over 4 million acres of food crop have been lost; the impact on lives and livelihoods is enormous.
It is evident that Pakistan has to face the brunt of this unprecedented climate-induced disaster despite our minimal contribution to the global carbon footprint. So while our people are suffering from the direct consequences of climate change, it is clearly the shared responsibility of the international community to do their utmost to assist the millions of affectees return to normal lives and livelihoods in a sustainable manner.
The colossal scale of this calamity, have stretched our resources to the limit, necessitated support from the international community for an effective and timely response. Efforts are underway to continue building upon the Flash Appeal, and the stream of generous assistance being provided by so many of our partners for the rescue and relief operations, while preparing for the subsequent phase of rehabilitation and reconstruction that would require sustained and massive support from the global community. The damages are expected to run into tens of billions of dollars.
The visit of UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres (9-10 September) was instrumental, not only to manifest international solidarity with the people of Pakistan, but to highlight the linkage of this catastrophe with climate change. The two-day visit comprised high-level meetings, briefings on the situation, and field visits involving interactions with displaced people, first responders, UN workers, civil society, and media. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister accompanied the UNSG to various flood-hit areas. Secretary-General Guterres applauded efforts of the Government and people of Pakistan and called for massive and sustained support of the international community, not only for relief assistance but also for rehabilitation and climate resilient reconstruction. He repeatedly emphasized that it was not just a matter of solidarity but a matter of justice, as countries like Pakistan who have not contributed to climate change are amongst the frontline countries impacted by its consequences.
You would have followed other dignitaries also visiting Pakistan to show solidarity and support including the Canadian Minister for International Development, Mr Harjit Singh Sajjan, who called on the Prime Minister and also met Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar. Canada expressed its commitment to support Pakistan in dealing with the aftermath of floods including climate-resilient re-building.
Ms. Samantha Power, Administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also called on the Prime Minister, as well as Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The Foreign Minister welcomed US support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan and thanked USAID for providing assistance in the wake of floods. He stressed that the developed countries must step up their climate ambition, including towards the provision of predictable climate finance for mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change in the developing world.
As part of the ongoing relief efforts, as of today, more than 100 flights have been received from our international friends and partners, carrying much needed assistance.
The ongoing relief work and the transition to the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase are going to be the focus of our national efforts and international outreach in the coming weeks and months. This, together with climate change, will be among our top priorities, as you will see at the SCO, and the upcoming UNGA Session in New York and beyond including the COP-27 in Egypt.
Question: In recent days, Several Indian media outlets have been reporting adversely on the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project saying that work has stopped on it and the project stands abandoned. Is that true? (Namra Sohail, PTV)
Answer: I think Indian media, as is known by its track record, is once again churning out false and baseless reports, and this time regarding the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project to misrepresent developments in Pakistan and Pakistan-China relations.
The 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project is one of several projects commissioned by the Government of Pakistan to leverage hydropower resources and enhance Pakistan’s access to green and sustainable energy sources.
Since its commissioning, the project has added billions of units of clean energy annually, substituting the yearly release of 2.5 million tons of CO2 from equivalent non-renewable sources, and created employment opportunities for thousands of local people.
Following the timely detection of a fault in the project’s tailrace tunnel, the project is currently undergoing remedial works, for which the concerned entity has contracted M/s China Gezhouba Group Co. Intl. (CGGC).
CGGC, which was also involved in the project’s construction, has already attained full mobilization at the site. At present, the work is proceeding smoothly without any interruption, with completion expected in 2023.
There is no truth to any reports of work stoppage or so-called “abandonment”. These reports are aimed at misleading the public and are part of malicious propaganda efforts to fuel controversy around Pakistan-China relations. Such efforts cannot succeed. As All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners, Pakistan and China are fully committed to strengthening bilateral cooperation for the benefit of both countries and peoples.
Question: There have been reports in media about a letter which was formally written by Pakistan’s Foreign Office to the Afghan authorities regarding presence of Maulana Masood Azhar in Afghanistan? Can you confirm whether this letter was written by Foreign Office or not? Furthermore, spokesperson of Afghan Taliban has denied presence of Maulana Masood Azhar in Afghanistan. What are your comments on this, please? (Rashida Siyal, Abb Takk)
Secondly, is there a possibility of any informal interaction or meeting between Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart during the SCO-CHS in Uzbekistan?
Answer: On the first question, I think the way this issue has been reported and handled is not helpful. We have also seen the statements and remarks by the representatives of Afghan interim authorities regarding presence of a UN Designated Individual who is a proclaimed offender and wanted in Pakistan in numerous terrorism related cases.
Pakistani authorities have formally raised this issue with their relevant Taliban interlocutors on multiple occasions. We have also shared documentary evidence and offered intelligence and operational assistance to locate the individual.
Pakistan, as well as the international community, have sufficient reasons to be concerned that there still remain pockets of ungoverned spaces within Afghanistan that are being used by terrorist groups as safe havens. Multiple deadly cross-border terrorist attacks from Afghanistan only increase these legitimate concerns.
The Afghan interim authorities have repeatedly assured us and the wider international community that they would not allow terrorist groups to use their territory to operate against any other country. We expect the Afghan interim authorities would take concrete and verifiable actions to deliver on these assurances. I think this will go a long way to improve their credibility and increase confidence of the international community on their capacity and willingness to counter the persistent threats posed by terrorism.
On the second question, as the meetings proceed at the SCO Summit, you will come to know about the bilateral meetings, some have already taken place, and they are being reported. There is no meeting planned with the Indian counterpart.
Question: There was an attack on the Pakistan security forces from the Afghan territory in which four Pakistan soldiers were martyred. Have we summoned Afghan Ambassador to Foreign Office on this matter?
Secondly, I want to know the exact figure of total G2G flood relief assistance which has been extended to Pakistan, excluding UN flash appeal? (Anwar Abbas, Bol News)
Supplementary Question: UN Flash Appeal was launched for US$ 160 million and yesterday UN resident coordinator has shared that only US$ 38 million has been received up till now. He further remarked that US$ 160 for which Flash Appeal was launched, it is peanuts and is nothing as compared to the total damages from floods which amount to US$ 20 billion. What are the reasons that we are not seeing the desired response and enthusiasm from the international community? (Naveed Siddiqui, Dawn TV)
Supplementary Question: Can you share some figures about the bilateral flood relief assistance which has been received up till now. Yesterday, Canada has announced some assistance along with few other countries. Also, if you can share separately direct flood relief assistance and that received in-lieu of UN Flash Appeal. Are we expecting to receive more assistance under the UN Flash Appeal? (Aijaz Ahmed, GNN)
Supplementary Question: Whether there is government of Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani or the current Taliban government in Afghanistan, Pakistan has always whole heartedly taken care of Afghan refugees since last forty years. Pakistan has also tried to convince the whole world that if there would be peace in Afghanistan there would be peace in the entire region. But, recently after the Asia Cup match between Pakistan and Afghanistan, many Pakistanis were assaulted by Afghan spectators after Afghanistan lost the match. Has Government of Pakistan raised its concerns with the Afghan Government regarding this incident, considering that UAE Government has deported around 1300 Afghan nationals from UAE? (Changez Khan Jadoon, Daily Payam-e-Khyber)
Supplementary Question: It has been reported that most of the Afghan nationals who have been deported from UAE have Pakistani passports. What are your comments on this?
Secondly, even in the presence of fencing on the Pak-Afghan border many refugees are still crossing in to Pakistani territory. They are creating problems in Pakistani cities particularly Swat and Karachi and are also involved in terrorist activities. Can you share some details on how much work has been done on the repatriation of Afghan Refugees which is underway since 2015-16?
Secondly, the flood relief assistance which has arrived in Pakistan is currently limited to airports and those people who are related MNAs and MPAs; it is not being distributed among the people who really need it and are in a really bad situation. What are NDMA and provincial governments going in this regard? (Sardar Amir Hussain, Daily Maddar/ Royal News)
Answer: The first question was about this cross border attack. Let me tell you that this has been taken up with the Afghan side, both here in Islamabad and Kabul. We have conveyed our concerns to them. We have also conveyed a very clear expectation that this will be stopped and will not be repeated. Such incidents must be avoided. This is very important to have cordiality and smooth relations between our two countries. The Afghan side has been asked to convey to their concerned authorities to desist from such actions and to avoid their recurrence in future. We have also reminded them that such matters must be resolved through dialogue and established coordination mechanisms.
On the second question, again you are referring to the emotional responses after the cricket match. I commented on that last time also. I think this is unfortunate. Although sometimes we have seen, even in other countries, even in Europe, hooliganism and such incidents taking place in football matches and others, but that is not the right kind of behavior obviously, that is expected especially in a sporting field. Everyone should have the right sporting spirit, and let me say again that the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan are linked through history, through culture, through religion, through geography and I think such incidents are not going to impact on the kind of brotherly relationships that exist between our people. As regards security of our nationals, we understand and trust the UAE authorities will take the necessary steps in accordance with their laws.
Regarding the assistance, I think you also referred to the comments by the UNRC. Let me put this in perspective, I think this has been explained right from the outset also when the UN Flash Appeal was launched, and if you look at that document, it is clear that it is corresponding to certain identified sectors and through communal services and other kinds of intervention in which the UN has relative expertise and advantage in terms of delivering such assistance. So it is not responding to the entire affected population, but only a fraction of it, and based on that its total outlay is US$ 160 million, and it was clear that this was not catering to the overall requirements of the rescue and relief phase, what to talk of rehabilitation and reconstruction, which is a much bigger figure as you know, expected to run into billions of dollars. So I agree with the UNRC that Flash Appeal is only a small fraction of the overall requirements given the mammoth scale of this disaster.
Considering that the Flash Appeal was launched on 30th of August, and it has been two weeks now, the total pledges that have been made towards the Flash Appeal are around 70% of that total of US$ 160 million. Now, pledges are made and it takes some time for the amounts to be actually transferred to the UN and that’s what the UN was saying, the amount actually received so far is less than what has been pledged. And given the urgency of the situation there is a need to speed this up. Nevertheless, the way this number has gone up, that is quite a good response to the Flash Appeal. Obviously, our expectation is that this will be fully funded soon and this was what the Secretary-General said, this was his consistent message. He spoke to the Ambassadors of the major partners and over there also we understand this was his message that the support from the international community has to be massive, it has to be swift and it has to be sustained through the forthcoming rehabilitation and reconstruction phase as well.
With regard to the overall assistance, again, it needs to be understood that the assistance is being offered in different formats – some is direct cash assistance coming to the government, some goes directly to the UN, some offers are bifurcated, in parts, some going in cash while others going through their development agencies or through UN. So this is somewhat complicated coming up with a figure right away. Approximately, over US$ 300 million has been pledged so far towards the relief effort, and that is coming in bilaterally from many of our friends and partners, assistance that is going in part towards the Flash Appeal, the in-kind assistance that is coming in. And let me clarify for better understanding that this is apart from the other contributions, for example, we are not counting in this, the US$ 370 million by World Bank, which was right at the beginning re-purposed for various focus areas including for cash transfers to the affectees, so that is separate.
Question: Few Pakistanis have been deported from Germany and Pakistan’s Embassy in Germany was also informed about that. On their return they were being taken in to custody by FIA officials are being treated in a very inhumane manner. In this regard a letter was also given to German Foreign Office by the Pakistani company who is working on this case. What are your comments on this? (Syed Faisal Ali, Daily State Views)
Answer: Ministry of Interior and immigration authorities may be referred regarding this.
Question: My question is regarding Indian water terrorism. It has been reported that NDMA has shared concerns regarding excess water being released in to Sutlej and Chenab rivers which will affect areas of Punjab. Already floods have caused havoc inside Pakistan which has impacted millions of people. Has India informed Pakistan through back door channels regarding flood water being released in to Sutlej and Chenab rivers?
My second question is regarding the Pakistani pilgrims who are stuck on the Iraqi border. Has Foreign Office extended any assistance to them? (Asghar Ali Mubarak, The Daily Mail International)
Answer: On your first comment, this has been a longstanding issue and it has impacted Pakistan in the past also. With regard to any latest developments I think it would be more appropriate to consult the Indus Water Commission because they are regularly in touch with the Indian counterparts, and we can check on that.
On your second question, we were engaged on that issue, which I understand stands addressed now.
Question: The current government in Afghanistan has completed one year and in the past, there has been lots of discussion about good-Taliban and bad-Taliban. Meanwhile, we have observed in the past one year that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa there was an increase in incidents involving life threats for money, cross border terrorism and other crimes which are being conducted by certain groups from across border despite fencing between two countries. What is Pakistan’s view on the current situation, whether it is improving under the current Afghan regime or is it further deteriorating?
My second question is regarding high profile meetings. Recently, our ex-Prime Minister had a meeting with a diplomat. Is there any mechanism that if any diplomat wants to meet a high-profile individual they need to inform Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Interior?
My third question is regarding treatment of Muslim minorities in India particularly in the light of recent incidents which have taken place in India? (Khawaja Nayyer Iqbal, Media Today)
Answer: You know on the law and order situation, obviously there is a linkage to what happens across the border. And we have had our longstanding concerns with regard to that. We keep communicating those concerns to the Afghan interim authorities as well, as we have done in the past. We continue to do that. But I think with regard to the actual situation on ground, law and order, and how this is evolving, it should better be addressed to the relevant authorities.
On the other question, as you know, we are a society and a system that is open and free, and remaining within the established diplomatic norms and practices, the diplomats have interactions in the country. I think this has been going on, and I don’t see any particular problem with regard to that.
On the third question, we have repeatedly made known our position and expressed our concerns. Just take this recent example, a decision by the Indian court in Varanasi, admitting the maintainability of a plea filed by Hindu plaintiffs (seeking prayers for Hindu worshippers in grounds of Gyanvapi Mosque) regarding the Places of Worship Act 1991, which bars the conversion of any place of worship from its religious character as it stood in August 1947. The decision by the court is another manifestation of BJP-RSS government’s Hindutva driven divisive agenda that aims to stoke communal tensions and majoritarian-ism.
So you know this together with what you are saying and what has been happening in India, that we have been witnessing, the international community has been witnessing over the past couple of years, in particular, ever since the BJP-RSS combine has been in power.
I think this is now very evident to the international community, the human rights organizations, Amnesty International and others, they have persistently and consistently raised these concerns and I think all of that is adding to what Pakistan has been saying, and expressing its concerns on these issues for a long time. This is about a government that is not fulfilling its responsibilities towards protection of basic human rights and religious freedoms of its minorities, particularly Muslims. So, I think your concern is valid, it is about a continuing situation in India, and that is why, we have been asking the Indian government to take necessary steps to ensure safety and security and protection of minorities particularly Muslims.
Question: Earlier this month, Amnesty International has released a report on Human rights violation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir since 2019. How do you evaluate that report? (Ali Jannat, PTV Radio)
Answer: We have seen the report by Amnesty International and I think it echoes the grave and intensifying human rights abuses in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir by India since 5th August 2019. The Organization has previously documented these egregious violations in its three reports published in as many years.
The growing Indian repression and suppression of fundamental rights in IIOJK has been extensively monitored, reported and documented by the UN Human Rights machinery, independent civil society organizations and global media. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as you are aware has also issued two reports in 2018 and 2019. The High Commissioner and several civil society organizations have also consistently raised deep concerns in several sessions of the Human Rights Council over the wide range of human rights crimes being committed by India in the internationally recognized disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. UN experts have publicly characterized the human rights situation in IIOJK, as in ‘free fall’.
These reports substantiate Pakistan’s serious concerns over the human rights impacts of India’s illegal and unilateral measures in the occupied territory, which have been abetted by inhuman military siege, draconian laws such as PSA, UAPA, and Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the state sanctioned impunity in IIOJK – all in a bid to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory.
Amnesty International has objectively highlighted India’s incessant and purposive failure to uphold the fundamental rights of the Kashmiris and its malfeasant use of national security as an alibi to justify its widespread and systematic campaign of state terrorism in the occupied territory.
The Amnesty International’s report renews earlier calls made to India by the UN Office for Human Rights and other independent international voices to provide unhindered access to the occupied territory for independent investigations into the extent of its systematic oppression in IIOJK.
Pakistan once again, urges the United Nations, its human rights machinery as well as States to counsel India to rescind its illegal and unilateral actions taken since 5th August 2019, end forthwith its gross human rights violations of the Kashmiri people, provide access to independent organizations and comply with its international human rights obligations.
Question: Is there any fund in Foreign Office to assist destitute Pakistani prisoners abroad in their release? Also, how many total Pakistani prisoners are there in foreign jails across the world? (Luqman Shah, Daily Azkar)
Answer: Yes, there are clear provisions for those Pakistanis who are imprisoned or even otherwise, who are destitute and who fulfill those criteria of being destitute, they are provided assistance by the government through the Missions, also for repatriation.
Question: Finally a meeting took place between Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin short while ago. Would you like to comment on this meeting? Was this planned, was this requested or this took place on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization? Foreign Office must have been in the loop about such meeting. Would you like to comment on Pakistan Russia relations in the backdrop of this particular meeting?
Secondly, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath publicly opposed sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan and we have also seen comments by the US Administration defending the decision made by the US government to sell these aircraft. So your comments are needed on the public opposition by the Indian Defense Minister on this development? (Mateen Haider, G News)
Answer: Thank you, on the first question, as we have informed earlier also, and this was in the curtain raiser, it is traditional that whenever forums like SCO, or other multilateral forums take place, in which heads of State and Government are there, it is customary, traditional to hold bilateral meetings of the leadership on the sidelines, and you will see that the Prime Minister is holding such meetings during the SCO summit with a number of his counterparts, in fact, with almost all of them, and as you mentioned, also the meeting with the Russian President. I think it is welcome. Obviously, when such meetings take place, they are discussed and planned – there are consultations in advance. So this explains very well that Pakistan has a foreign policy that is open, that is objective, and specifically with regard to our relations with the major powers, we have always said that our desire is to have objective, balanced and mutually beneficial relations with all major powers. We want to build on the existing relations, and we want to take them forward in a mutually beneficial manner, and I think this has been very evident. Pakistan’s position has been consistent with regard to this aspect of our foreign policy.
On your second question, I think although it is not for me to comment because they (India) made a statement, released it to the media, and you also saw the response from the US side. But even otherwise, it is somewhat comical that you know, a country that is known for, spending so much on acquisition of arms, and there is all of this arms buildup and a unilateral arms race that India is engaged in, you know, and it questions the legitimate security and defence related procurements or acquisitions by Pakistan.
So I think it is for us, it is very clear that we will do all that we have to, in order to ensure the security and defence of our country, and this should be evident to everyone including India.
Question: A similar meeting took place and Pakistan received a cypher, the former Prime Minister accused cypher as a conspiracy and the government got overthrown. Today a similar meeting has taken place with the current Prime Minister. Whether we should expect more cyphers for Pakistan or some other standing up and making conspiracy theory to the nation? (Shaukat Piracha, Aaj News)
Answer: I think you are making misplaced assumptions. As I said our position has always been consistent with regard to our priorities, our objectives for promoting relations with the major powers, so this meeting, like other meetings that you see will take place have to be seen in that context. I don’t think there should be concerns or objections by anyone to the engagements of our leadership with other countries and partners.
Question:UNSG visited flood affected areas in Pakistan and during his visit he remarked that floods in Pakistan are a result of climate change for which Pakistan is 1% responsible and 99% responsibility lies with around 20 developed countries. Is Pakistan demanding any compensation money from these countries? (Shahzad Hassan Mirza, Daily Media)
Answer: Your question reminds me of one question that I missed I think from another colleague about the assistance that is being received and how that is being distributed. As for the international assistance that is being received, it is being managed in a very open and transparent manner, there is the National Flood Response and Coordination Center (NFRCC) which is headed by the Prime Minister himself and everything that is being offered, that is coming in, is handled and managed in a coordinated manner. So it is not only the NDMA, it is not only the Federal Government, the Provincial governments, the PDMAs, the civil administrations and others are all there. Everyone is in picture. So there is no question of delays or any concerns about the aid not being delivered. Logistics take time. And let me also point out that the international assistance that is coming in is only a part of the total requirements and a lot of work, the relief assistance is being mobilized and provided nationally, through Pakistanis, through our own organizations who are reaching out to the millions of people who have been affected. So this also needs to be kept in mind.
Coming back to your question, this is what you know, we have been highlighting. This was one of the key features of the Secretary General’s visit, when he was saying that this is not a question of solidarity, but a question of climate justice, because he was referring to what you were saying that Pakistan is amongst the least contributors to the global greenhouse gas emissions, but we are on the receiving side of the consequences of climate change. The UNSG openly mentioned also the responsibility of the key global emitters. He mentioned G-20, mentioned frequently the responsibility, the historic responsibility of the developed world.
So I think his call was clear that the developed countries and others including G-20, who bear that responsibility, they have to step up and come forward and assist countries who are faced with these consequences in the form of climate induced disasters. And we discussed many things with the Secretary General as to what can be done. I think you will see in the UNGA. And there is a special session convened by the Secretary General and the Egyptian President in the context of COP27 on sidelines of UNGA. You will also see subsequently in COP27, that you know, we will together with other countries, we will increasingly pitch for the recognition of this linkage of these disasters with climate change and what needs to be done also in terms of, you know, a clear cut concrete mechanism for loss and damage. I am not talking about reparations, but loss and damage and also there are proposals, which need to be elaborated further with regard to debt swaps, for climate adaptation, for example, that is also something that we are going to take up.
Question:For the past weeks it is continuously being reported that TTP’s activities and its influence in SWAT and adjoining areas is increasing. What is the current status of negotiations that are going on between Pakistan and TTP?
Secondly, it was also reported that a group of TTP also visited Pakistan for negotiations. What are your comments on this please? (Ghazala Noureen, Suno TV)
Supplementary Question:TTP has declared war against state of Pakistan and right now when TTP is targeting security forces and tribal elders inside Pakistan, what is our state’s policy on this? (Ali Hussain, Business Recorder)
Answer: I have no particular update with regard to the process of negotiations. That needs to be posed to the relevant authorities, but on the overall issue, our position has been very clear and I think anyone who wants to create instability, whose actions lead to insecurity in Pakistan, that cannot be acceptable to the State of Pakistan and I am sure that the relevant institutions and authorities of the Government of Pakistan are there to take all necessary actions to counter any such attempts.
Question:Water and food was distributed among the flood affectees but there are other issues like provision of toilets, construction of room accommodations etc. Are we working with international community on these issues as well? (Shakeel Kalyana, Daily Relation News)
Answer: Some of these questions relate to different clusters in which this relief work is being. For example, you mentioned water and sanitation; we were discussing this in the UN flash appeal. Water, sanitation and hygiene called WASH is one of the key clusters focused by the UN, so this is an area in which there is intervention and assistance being provided. If you are talking about the long term, then for the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, this will be taken up in a different manner and obviously when there are plans for reconstruction with regard to this particular sector, relevant interested development partners will be approached for their contributions.
Question:In the program shared for Prime Minister’s visit to attend SCO-CHS in Uzbekistan there was no meeting scheduled with Chinese leadership. What are your comments on this? (Ali Furqan, VOA Urdu)
Answer: As I said there are many bilateral meetings which are planned, and you will see that meeting with the Chinese leadership also.
Last modified: September 15, 2022
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