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


Thanks for joining us for the Weekly Briefing.

​Today marks a significant transition in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Ambassador Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi assumes the role of 32nd Foreign Secretary of Pakistan succeeding Ambassador Dr. Asad Majeed Khan. Ambassador Qazi brings with him extensive experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy having served at Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Geneva (from 1995 to 1999), Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi (from 2005 to 2006), and our Embassy in Washington D.C. (from 2006 to 2013). He served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Hungary from 2015 to 2017 and to Türkiye from 2017 to 2022.

​We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Asad Majeed Khan for his dedicated service and steadfast commitment to diplomacy. Under his leadership, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs navigated complex global challenges and worked to strengthen Pakistan’s international partnerships. He will also be remembered for his efforts for capacity building of the Foreign Service of Pakistan which will bear long-lasting fruits for the Service and for the nation. We celebrate his many accomplishments, thank him for his services to the country and wish him success in all his future endeavours.

In a communication addressed to the Government of India, UN special procedures for human rights have expressed serious concerns at the arrest, detention and charges against Kashmiri human rights defenders, Mr. Khurram Pervaiz and Mr. Irfan Mehraj. The communication has been signed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders; the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntarily Disappearances; the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Freedom and Peaceful Assembly and of Association; and the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Mr. Khurram Pervaiz, who is the Programme Coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCSS) and Mr. Irfan Mehraj, a researcher with JKCSS, are detained in Rohini prison in New Delhi. The UN Special Procedures have expressed concern that their arrests and detention are designed to delegitimize their human rights work and to obstruct monitoring of the human rights situation in IIOJK.

The communication by the UN Special Procedures is yet another indictment of the Indian occupation authorities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)as it continues to silence and harass Kashmiri human rights defenders. We urge India to bring an end to the unjustified and illegal detention of Mr. Khurrum Pervaiz and Mr. Irfan Mehraj and numerous other Kashmiri activists who are languishing in jails for raising their voice against Indian oppression.

​Thank you.


Question: I have two questions. The first one is about the very sad and unfortunate incident in Jaranwala. So how does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs respond to statements by foreign governments on this incident? Second question is that we are also witnessing some statements from different functionaries of governments around the world calling for fresh elections within the specified time of Constitution. How does the Government of Pakistan respond to these statements? (Shaukat Piracha, AAJ News)

Answer: Regarding your first question, you may have seen that the Prime Minister of Pakistan has strongly condemned the reprehensible incident that took place in Faisalabad yesterday where churches were targeted and that hurt the sentiments of Christians across the country. These acts are illegal and unconstitutional. As a country of laws and constitution, Pakistan cannot accept such intolerant and violent acts. Our law enforcement authorities took swift action yesterday. They have been instructed by the Prime Minister to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice. Individuals belonging to religious minorities are equal citizens of the state. As a multicultural and multifaith country, Pakistan is fully determined to protect and promote their constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms and to foster social harmony, tolerance and mutual respect.

Regarding your second question, I would like to reiterate what we have said in the past – Pakistan will continue to follow its constitutional and legal obligations. This is a message that we have conveyed to our foreign interlocutors with respect to political developments in Pakistan.

Question: Two questions. First, with regards to the alleged attack on Chinese nationals in Gwadar, would you want to confirm or deny these reports and would you want to comment on it? Second, we recently saw the contents of the much talked about cypher being leaked on a US-based website. Would you want to confirm the contents of what has been leaked? (Anas Mallick, Capital TV)

Answer: On your second question, I had given a short statement earlier and I will reiterate that we do not comment on the contents of so-called leaked documents because that gives such reports the importance that they do not deserve. With regards to the unfortunate incident on the 13th of August in Gwadar, the attack of 13th August 2023 in Gwadar aimed to target Chinese nationals working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project in Gwadar. As a result of timely action by Pakistani security forces, the attack was foiled and the terrorists involved were killed. Thankfully, no Chinese national was harmed. We remain in contact with the Chinese government. Ensuring the safety and security of all Chinese personnel, projects and institutions remains a key priority for Pakistan. Planners and perpetrators of this abhorrent act will be brought to justice. They will never succeed in their evil design to damage our bilateral ties with China. Nor can such abhorrent acts dampen the resolve of our two countries to further advance the all-encompassing bilateral cooperation, including under the ambit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Question: I just saw a statement from US State Department or the White House spokesperson that the regional stability is a shared responsibility of both Pakistan and the United States. What does it mean? Are there any talks going on Pakistan and the US on India and Afghanistan? ​(Naveed Siddiqui, Dateline Islamabad)

Answer: I do not know the entire context of the remarks. Pakistan has always said that it would like to partner with all friendly countries to promote peace and dialogue in South Asia, Afghanistan and in the context of Pakistan-India relations. We believe that Pakistan’s engagement with the United States on aspects of mutual concern has been quite productive and fruitful, as has been our dialogue with several other friendly countries in the region and outside the region.

Question: My question is related to the Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Haibatullah’s recent remarks. He has recently issued an unequivocal decree forbidding cross-border attacks. Do you think they will stick to the commitment they have made? (Naymal Khawaja, Media Today)

Answer: We have seen the statement. Pakistan welcomes all statements that would lead to cessation of terrorist activities against Pakistan. Pakistan has remained in contact with the Afghan interim authorities on issues of our concern, including the terrorist threat that Pakistan faces. We hope that the Afghan authorities will honour the commitments that they have made to the international community and Pakistan, including in the Trilateral Meeting that took place between the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China in May this year.

Question: A high-level committee, headed by former Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, recommended sending Pakistan Cricket team to India with the precondition that our team will have enhanced security. But, India has made a statement that there will be no separate security arrangement for Pakistani team. Are we satisfied with the security arrangements over there, especially in the wake of their subsequent statement? Are we still sending our team? (Shaukat Piracha, AAJ News)

Answer: I would not like to comment on the statements India is making with respect to Pakistani team’s participation. We believe that it is their responsibility to provide fool-proof security and the right environment for our team to participate, an environment in which our players are able to participate without fear for their safety and without undue harassment by the spectators in the stands.

Question:​ On 14th August, Pakistani flag was waved for the first time on an important building in Russia. Why we didn’t see such kind of celebrations before? Was this gesture due to improving relations with the Russian government? (Mohsin ul mulk, 24 News HD)

Answer:​ We welcome the sentiments of friendship that our Russian friends have expressed on the occasion of Pakistan’s Independence Day. Similar sentiments were expressed by friends of Pakistan from across the world. The people of Pakistan appreciate such gestures on the occasion of our Independence Day celebrations.

Question:​ Two questions, first regarding the meetings with Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a second meeting with is still pending on which a case is under consideration in the Islamabad High Court. What were the contours of the meetings and why is the second meeting still pending? Secondly, there’s been a development regarding prisoners between America and Iran and it is expected that Nuclear talks might resume between both the countries. How does Pakistan see this? (Syed Faisal Ali, Daily State Views)

Answer:​ Pakistan has always welcomed peace and dialogue between countries especially between our friends. Iran is a friend and so is the United States. We welcome constructive engagement and result oriented dialogue between them. As far as the meeting with Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is concerned, I do not wish to speak on a case that is subjudice. But what I can say is that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Embassy in Washington and our Consulate in Houston have been closely following the case of Ms. Aafia Siddiqui and the requests for consular access.

Question:​What is Pakistan’s stance on the recent statement given by the Spokesperson of Afghan government?​Is the current interim government of Afghanistan representing Afghanistan as an irresponsible State? (Allah Noor, Mashriq TV)

Answer:​I think it is not appropriate for us to comment on each and every statement that comes. Pakistan has said clearly time and again, that we would like to have peace and amity with Afghanistan. Our relationship is centuries old, it is rooted in our culture and in our history. It is important for the two sides to resolve all differences and concerns and that is why we have been raising our concerns with respect to terrorism that emanates from Afghanistan and endangers Pakistan. This has been an area of regular contact and dialogue between our two countries.

Question: Madam, what is the approach of Pakistan towards BRICS organization? And secondly, what is the approach of Pakistan towards BRICS possible extension? (Ruslan Bekniyazov, ITAR-TASS News)

Answer: Well, Pakistan is not a member of BRICS so I would not comment on the developments in BRICS. We believe it is an important international grouping that projects itself as a grouping to promote peace and dialogue. We also believe that all such groupings and their members should have extensive partnerships and peaceful relations with countries in the region.

Close Search Window