Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 21 September 2017
(2017-09-21) Opening Remarks
Bismillah IrRehman NirRahim Assalaam Alaikum
The Prime Minister is leading Pakistan's delegation to the 72nd UNGA Session in New York. You already have the details of the entourage. He is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on 21 September. On the sidelines, he has held bilateral meetings with the King of Jordan, Presidents of Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, and US Vice President. The Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary also had a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines. They also had other important activities. During the stay, the Prime Minister would also have some more engagements as also the Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary. We have been keeping our media informed on the outcome of the meetings.
The Int'l Atomic Energy Agency has unveiled a bust of Pakistan's first Nobel Laureate, Dr. Abdus Salam, at its Headquarters. An advocate of "Atoms for Peace", Dr. Salam's efforts in making the world aware of the benefits of using nuclear knowledge for peace, health and prosperity have been globally acknowledged.
We condole with the people and the Government of Mexico on the devastations caused by the earthquake, which took a heavy toll on human lives.
While in New York 72nd Session of UN General Assembly and in Geneva 36th Session of Human Rights Council are in progress, Indian occupation forces martyred four more youth in Srinagar and Kupwara areas during last 6 days. We strongly condemn continued killing of innocent Kashmiris in staged encounters. At least two dozen defenseless Kashmiris were injured after Indian forces used brute force in different parts of the Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Continued illegal detention of senior Hurriyet leader Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Massrat Alam Bhat, Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi and over six hundreds of Hurriyet leaders , activists and students on fake cases languishing in different jails of occupied Jammu & Kashmir and in India is deplorable and a matter of deep concern. Int'l Community and the UN are urged to call India to account for the crimes against innocent and defenceless Kashmiris in IoK, committed by Indian occupation forces with impunity. Kashmiris in occupied Jammu & Kashmir were denied Juma prayers last week also in violation of human rights and religious freedom.
I wish to inform that OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir held a successful meeting in New York, chaired by OIC Secretary General. Dy PM of Turkey, FMs and Representatives of Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Niger and OIC SG's Special Envoy on J&K, Mr. Abdullah Alim participated. The Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif spoke of the human rights violations and denial of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, which has been promised to them in the UN Security Council's Resolutions. President AJ&K, Sardar Masood Khan, presented the situation of Kashmiris in IoK. The True Representatives of Kashmiri people presented a Memorandum to the Contact Group.
In the ongoing Asian Indoor Games in Ashgabat, Pakistani Sports Teams made us proud with their sterling performance, winning 16 medals so far. We extend our heartiest congratulations to our teams.
Now the Floor is open for Questions
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met with US Vice President Mike Pence and Foreign Ministers of the two countries are also expected to meet on the sidelines of UNGA Session in New York. Can you confirm Foreign Ministers' meeting, its agenda and what were the expectations in terms of outcome? (Saima Shabbir - Bol News)
Is there any chance of our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister meeting with their Indian counterparts on the sidelines of UNGA's Session? (Tariq Sial - Morning Mail)
Regarding Mr. Tariq Sial's question, there is no such meeting scheduled.
On Ms. Saima Shabbir's question, our Prime Minister had a good meeting with the US Vice President, Mike Pence, in New York. Both sides reiterated their desire for continued engagement. The US Vice President noted the importance of this relationship and underlined for continued partnership to pursue the objectives of peace and stability in the region. We also expect a meeting between the Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State to continue these conversations.
Reportedly, anti-Pakistan elements are preparing the same campaign in New York and Brussels as they did in Geneva regarding Balochistan. What steps Pakistan has taken to counter the elements behind such malicious designs? (Shaukat Paracha - Aaj News)
Reportedly, Indian mission in Geneva is financing and organizing anti-Pakistan activities and the local Swiss administration has been paid heavy amounts in commercial deals for these campaigns. Has Pakistan probed the matter and intends to raise the issue with the UN? (Amjad Ali - PTV News) (Asghar Ali Mubarak - Daily Mail Islamabad)
My question is regarding anti-Pakistan activity in Geneva during the recent Human Rights Council Session. Last year, such activities were also reported. Keeping in view that India is undertaking all efforts to malign Pakistan through such campaigns our reaction has not been so rigorous. Your comments please! (Syed Mohsin Raza - Asas Group of Publications)
Although we have taken up the matter of anti-Pakistan activities with the Swiss Government, we have also seen videos of MQM campaigning for Muhajirs being launched in various parts of the world. In these videos, Karachi is being talked in the same vein as Balochistan. Any plans to take up this matter with the UK Government also? (Ali Husnain - Business Recorder)
Pakistan is a democratic Islamic society, where rights of minorities and every segment of society are guaranteed by the Constitution. We have independent judiciary, vibrant civil society and free media. We continue to enhance these independent protections through legislative and administrative measures and establishment of institutions.
We are aware of the malicious / negative campaign against Pakistan for some years now. The focus of campaign has been various aspects of human rights in Pakistan as well as territorial integrity of Pakistan.
This campaign has become more vicious since Indian Prime Minister Modi publically acknowledged India's role in Balochistan. India has been hosting the anti-Pakistan elements in and outside India. India is involved in perpetrating and financing terrorism in Pakistan and funding anti-Pakistan activities in other countries as well. In the latest instance in which anti-Pakistan campaign organized in Geneva, one of your own Journalist colleague, Murtaza Ali Shah, gathered evidence and it transpired that Indian diplomatic mission in Geneva was funding the 'Baluchistan House' and 'BLA', which he reflected in his report.
There are indeed other sources also that provide enabling environment to such entities to undermine Pakistan's image and interests. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been and will continue to work with the UN and its Member States to ensure that individuals and organizations involved in such campaigns are not provided space on their territory.
Reportedly, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa will visit Russia next week. Do you have information about his visit?
On your first question, the visit of Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is scheduled in the first week of October 2017. Regular high level exchanges between the two sides in the past few years have set the stage for translating political goodwill into a substantial partnership in particular, in the field of defence. Last year, both countries held joint military exercise in September-October. The recent visit of COAS will contribute further strengthening of defence cooperation between the two countries.
What is Pakistan's Position on the Indian-Japan Joint Declaration issued at the conclusion of visit of Japanese Prime Minister to India, recently? (Saad Umar - Roze News)
Pakistan has noted with disappointment India-Japan Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India (13-14 September 2017), in which an unwarranted reference on Pakistan has been included. Unfortunately, Japan's subscribing to the Statement was uncalled for.
Moreover, India is a country that has a known track record of perpetrating blatant human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir and involvement in state sponsored terrorism in its neighbourhood. Given the fact, backed by solid evidences, that Indian state agencies, in collaboration with their terrorist organization, RSS, have staged numerous terrorist attacks on its own soil and blamed them on either Indian Muslims or alleged non-state actor in Pakistan, Japan's endorsement of Indian viewpoint is highly regrettable. Compromising principles of inter-state relations and fair play for the sake of economic considerations in any situation is regrettable.
Reportedly, a Pakistani national, Asghar Ali is languishing in jail in Afghanistan despite completion of his sentence in 2015. What is the status and the steps taken by our Mission in Kabul to help him for his repatriation? (Sheeba Mahar - Daily SAMAA)
The Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul has raised this issue with the Afhgan authorities at various level with Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as NSA office. The issue was also formally raised on 14th September 2015, 9th August 2016, 29th December 2016 and 19th March 2017, requesting the Afghan authorities to release Mr. Asghar Ali.
Afghan Supreme Court has also ordered the concerned authorities to relase him, whose sentence ended in 2015.
The Embassy has once again approached Ministries of Defence and Foriegn Affairs as well as NSA office for early release of Asghar Ali.
What is your reaction to Rajnath's statement that talks with Pakistan meaningless due to terrorism"? (Nimra - PTV)
Indian state involvement in perpetrating terrorism and terror financing within India, in Pakistan, in neighbouring states, in Indian occupied J&K, and use of Afghan soil for the same purpose is based on irrefutable evidences, confessions and testified by the statements of their own leaders and officials. India tries to convince the world through propaganda and false information that she is a victim of terrorism. India hides behind excuses and misleads the Int'l Community to avoid resolving issues through peaceful means.
India's permanent representative to the UN said that Pakistan's decision to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN is like "Mullah Ki daud masjid tak'. How significant it will be to raise the issue of Jammu & Kashmir at the UN in the current scenario? (Khawaja Nayyar Iqbal - Kashmir Post)
Jammu & Kashmir dispute is internationally recognized with UN Security Council's Resolutions pending implementation. The UNSC Resolutions promise right to self determination for Kashmiris through an UN supervised plebiscite. India has been blatantly violating the UNSC Resolutions as well as the UN Charter by calling J&K its integral part and the human rights violations its forces commit in IoK.
Indian statements reflect that it has no respect for the UN and its non-serious commitment to the international conventions and laws pertaining to human rights.
Reportedly, a six member Pakistani delegation led by DGMO visited Afghanistan last week and held meetings with Afghan officials. Please share the details of the visit?
Yesterday, ex-Minister has criticized Foreign Office performance on the BRICS declaration. Your comments please! (Tariq Mahmood - SAMAA TV)
Pakistan DGMO visited Kabul on 12 September 2017 to hold a regional trilateral meeting on cooperation against Daesh with his US and Afghan counterparts. This trilateral was followed by bilateral meeting between DGMOs of Afghanistan and Pakistan. During the meeting, various issues including Counter-terrorism and border management were discussed. Afghan side committed to forward a proposed Action Plan based on the discussions that have taken place to Pakistan side for their views. Both sides agreed to hold Border Flag meetings and establish hotlines between the local commanders at the border. For more details, please contact ISPR.
As for your second question, we do not comment on the statement made by our political leadership. On BRICS, our official stance is already on record.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani once again urged Pakistan to engage in comprehensive dialogue. Your comments please! (Rabia Pir - VOA DEEWA Radio)
It is not for me to respond on a statement made by the Afghan President. I believe he made this statement at the ongoing UNGA Session. However, our position on Afghanistan is very clear. We have said it time and again that peace and stability in Afghanistan is not only in Pakistan's interest, but also that of the entire region. I invite your attention to Foreign Minister's recent visits to regional countries, wherein there was a convergence of interest on the security situation in the region, including in Afghanistan. The points of convergence that emerged after the visits were contained in my last press briefing's opening remarks. The regional countries are concerned about the rise of Daesh and other terrorist elements within Afghanistan. Pakistan believes that all initiatives for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan should be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.
Reportedly, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after his address decided not to meet with the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the sidelines of UNGA Session. Your comments!
Former Interior Minister lashed out at Foreign Office on BRICS declaration and recent drone strike in Pakistan. Your comments please! (Naveed Saddique - Dawn News)
Your first question has already been addressed by the Foreign Secretary, who is in New York, and your newspaper carried it in its today's issue. It was a false media report. The fact is that some overshooting of time during an address at the UNGA session consumed the time of the meeting between the two leaders. The Afghan side, therefore requested for rescheduling of the meeting to which we responded in positive. I am not aware whether the meeting has been rescheduled so far.
We do not comment on the statements made by our political leadership. On BRICS, our official stance is already on record. On drone strike, we have not received any confirmation from either Ministry of Interior or Defence.
We have continuously seen that different quarters and centre of the world are being used against Pakistan, with some very serious allegations leveled against Pakistani Government and armed forces. We have also seen anti-Pakistan elements like Husain Haqqani, Brahumdagh Bugti, Altaf Hussain, Mir Suleman Dawood Jan, etc. who are based mostly in Western countries and using their soil against Pakistan. Can't they be arrested and brought to Pakistan for trial? Is there any proposal to approach Interpol to arrest these people and bring them to justice in Pakistan, as was the case of Uzair Baloch? (Faisal Raza Khan - 92 News)
Your question pertains to Ministry of Interior, as the subject falls in their domain. We do have established mechanisms in place, such as between our Ministry of Interior and UK Home Office for direct cooperation, inter alia, on such matters. Therefore, given the nature of query you may like to contact MOI.