Record of Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 09 August 2018

Opening Remarks

Bismillah Ir-Rehman Nir-Rahim

Assalaam o Alaikum

We start with a round-up of the recent events on the foreign policy front:

As a result of the brutal use of force by the Indian occupation forces during last week, 12 innocent Kashmiris embraced shahadat, which include; Bilal Ahmad Shah, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Riyaz Ahmed Dar and Engineer Khursheed Ahmad Malik, Umar Nazir Malik, Arshad Ahmad Khan, Aijaz Ahmad Paul, Waqar Ahmed Sheikh, Arif Ahamd Mir, Bilal Ahmad Khan, Syeed Murfad Shah, Mohammad Rafiq Gujjar in Kupwara, Sopore, Shopian, Jammu and Ramban areas. We strongly condemn the illegal detention and shifting of Kashmiri women including Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen and Fahmida Sofi from Mandoli Jail to the notorious Tihar Jail in New Delhi. We also express our deep concerns over the health condition of political prisoners including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam Butt, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Aiyaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori and hundreds of Kashmiri leaders and activists in different jails and interrogation centers.

The Hurriyat leadership remains incarcerated while their offices are raided regularly on trumped up charges in an attempt to intimidate them. Political prisoners under the Public Safety Act are being shifted to prisons outside IOK to exert additional psychological pressure on the families and to keep them away from scrutiny.

Journalists, especially foreign journalists are arbitrarily prevented access to IOK, to stop them from witnessing the rapidly deteriorating situation on ground. This is a desperate attempt to cover the truth about the humanitarian emergency and barbaric human rights violations being committed by Indian occupation forces.

Despite rampant Indian state terrorism, Kashmiris in IOK observed a complete strike against Indian attempts to abrogate Article 35-A aimed at changing the demography of IOK to preempt the outcome of any future plebiscite. Underhanded, nefarious Indian designs of this nature are a complete violation of the numerous UNSC Resolutions and international law.

On August 02, 2018 the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control on 2nd August in Mandal Sector, resulting in the shahadat of one innocent civilian (Mrs. Nusrat Bibi w/o Mr. Shakeel, age 35 years) in Ghasla village. The Indian forces along the Line of Control and the Working boundary are continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons. So far in 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 1400 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the shahadats of 30 innocent civilians, while injuring 121 others. The deliberate targeting of civilian population is deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. India should respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement and permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

As you know that the SAI Guangzhou-Lahore flight, which was scheduled to depart on 29 July 2018, was delayed and cancelled due to technical problems. Around 260 passengers were stranded at the airport. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Embassy in Beijing and Consulate General in Guangzhou played an active role in their expeditious return to Pakistan. Throughout, our Consulate remained in touch with the passengers, Shaheen Air International and Civil Aviation Authorities of Pakistan and China to ensure their smooth stay and return. Around 214 passengers, who opted for return to Pakistan, have safely reached Pakistan via a special flight of Shaheen International Airlines. The Foreign Secretary personally monitored the situation and liaised with the government departments for resolving the crisis. Upon arrival the passengers, appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Consulate Guangzhou and Pakistan Embassy Beijing.

In a special humanitaian gesture, Pakistan opened the Munabao Khokrapar border to allow repatriation of an Indian lady, Ms. Reshma who passed away while visiting Pakistan. She was scheduled to return to India on July 28 but she fell ill, eventually passing away on July 25. Her family then wanted to bury her in her hometown in Rajasthan, but missed the weekly Thar express. The Indian MLA Mr. Mavendera Singh has written to the Foreign Secretary to thank Pakistan for the compassionate gesture.

Now the Floor is open for Questions

Question:

Following the brazen attack in Gilgit-Baltistan, in which 14 girls’ schools were torched in different areas, the police have claimed that the attackers were trained in Afghanistan. Your comments please! (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Answer:

There is an ongoing active investigation into this matter. I will revert once we have information.

Question:

The US Administration has re-imposed sanctions and warned that countries that will do business with Iran will suffer. How would you comment on these sanctions, particularly in the context of Pakistan-Iran business and Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline Project?

Supplementary Question

Tensions between Iran and US are rising. What is Pakistan’s view keeping in mind our relations with both the countries? (Mohsin Raza – ASAS Group of Publications)

Supplementary Question

As you know that Turkey and China have taken a strong stance on the issue, what is Pakistan’s position on this issue? Also the new government will soon be in place – will it review the policy? (Asghar Ali Mubarak – Diplomatic Mail)

Answer:

We are examining the implications of the US re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. However, Pakistan, being a sovereign state, reserves the right to pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests while respecting the international legal regime.

Question:

There are overt signs of some kind of talks between the US and the Taliban. Yesterday the General from CENTCOM also stated that there could be dialogue between the United States and Taliban, but not with Daesh. If Taliban and US hold direct talks, how will Pakistan view it? Secondly, whether Pakistan is willing to play any role in bringing the US and Taliban to the table? (Shaukat Piracha – AAJ TV)

Answer:

In line with our consistent policy, Pakistan is willing to make all efforts for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Question:

The Prime Minister elect has reportedly stated that Pakistan and America are going to have a good working relationship which would improve Pakistan’s chances of securing a much needed loan from IMF. How do you view this? (Salman Hashim – Forensic Eye)

Answer:

The question pertains to the Ministry of Finance. Please wait for the new government to take charge before a clear position can emerge.

Question:

The FATF Team is visiting Pakistan during this month. Have they discussed the agenda of their visit with MoFA? Your comments please! (Sardar Alam – One News)

Answer:

Pakistan is prepared for the FATF visit. Ministry of Finance would be able to comment on this question, as it is the line Ministry dealing with the issue.

Supplementary Question:

Reportedly, European Union Ambassador to Pakistan offered help in removing Pakistan from FATF Grey List. How do you respond? (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Supplementary Question:

The European Union Ambassador to Pakistan in a meeting with the PM-elect has said that the EU has no objection over the proposed IP Gas pipeline Project. How do you see this development?

Answer:

Regarding your first question, we have not received any official communication from European Union in this regard.

As far as your second question goes, we have not received any official communication from European Union in this regard. We have noted the reported statement by EU Ambassador. As you are aware, Pakistan is an energy deficient country and we are working on developing multiple sources of energy supply. IP gas pipeline is one of the projects in this regard. EU’s interest in this project would be helpful.

Question:

Was the Foreign Office in the loop of the meeting of Pakistan PR to UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi with Mr. Imran Khan at Bani Gala, Islamabad? Did the officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs also meet Imran Khan and congratulate him on his victory? (Aon Sherazi – SUCH TV)

Answer:

Regarding the meeting of Ambassador Lodhi – No, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not in the loop.

As far as the second part of your question goes, noone from the Ministry has met the Prime Minister – elect so far.

Question:

Is it enough to respond only verbally to the brutal massacre taking place in the Indian occupied Kashmir or do you have any practical plans to help these victims of Indian brutalities?

Answer:

We have vocally raised the Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris at every forum, including the Human Rights Council. The recent UN OHCHR report highlighting the Indian atrocities, recommending an international Commission of Inquiry to look into the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is a validation of our consistent efforts and position. Pakistan welcomes the stance of the OHCHR and is ready to welcome the Commission of Inquiry to AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. We will continue to sensitize the international community to urge India to halt the bloodshed in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

Question:

As per the available information regarding the money trail of Avenfield Apartments, it has become a property of Pakistan Government. How do you plan to get it back from UK? (Anwar Abbas – Waqt News)

Answer:

It appears that your question pertains to the National Accountability Bureau.

Question:

How do you react to the Indian attempts to abrogate the Article 35-A of its Constitution, which confers special status on Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the resulting protests in IOK? What steps has Pakistan taken to lodge its protest on this issue? (Umar Nawaz – Capital TV)

Supplementary Question:

There are reports that non-Kashmiris will be allowed to buy properties inside IOK which would affect the demography of IOK and adversely impact the voting rights of the genuine Kashmiris. How do you see it and how does Pakistan plan to raise it at the UN? (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Answer:

This is not the first time that India is trying to change the demography of IOK. They have been trying to do it for the last 70 years. This is a direct violation of the UNSC Resolutions. We have consistently been raising this issue on international forums shall continue to do so. India cannot hope to crush the legitimate, indigenous Kashmiri struggle by such nefarious, underhanded means. All such Indian efforts have failed previously and will continue to fail. The only solution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is through the realization of the right to self determination of the Kashmiris through an impartial UN administered plebiscite as per the UNSC Resolutions.

Question:

Would you like to comment on the dates of the FATF Team’s visit to Pakistan? (Rabia Peer – Voice of America)

Answer:

This is the subject of Ministry of Finance.

Question:

Recently, the Russian Deputy Minister met the Army Chief and yesterday the US has issued a statement that Russia is trying to assert its presence across the region. In the context of Pakistan-Russia Military exercises, what are your comments? (Anas Malick – Republic TV)

Answer:

I will not be commenting on the US. Regarding Russia and Pakistan relations, our defence relations have grown steadily over the years and both countries have established regular military-to-military contacts. Pakistan and Russia have been successful in developing a strong partnership, which is based on mutual trust, commonality of interests and convergence of views on important global and regional issues. The two countries have been able to construct a positive trajectory in sustaining high-level interactions and exploring new avenues to cement bilateral relations in all spheres including the defence sector.

The two countries have held two editions of the joint military exercise named ‘RUZBA’ (Friendship) in Pakistan in 2016 and in Russia in 2017. Both countries also held counter-narcotics naval exercise called ”Arabian Monsoon” in the Arabian Sea in 2014 and 2015.

A Russian warship participated in the multilateral naval exercise AMAN-2017 from 10-14 February 2017 and PNS Aslat visited Saint Petersburg and participated in Russia’s Navy Day celebrations on July 29, 2018.

Question:

There are reports that the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) is constructing 50 new surveillance posts along the Indo-Pak international border in the Gurdaspur sector, to beef up its border guarding mechanism. Is there a need for Pakistan also to increase its surveillance posts?

Second, Indian Congress leader Mr. Shashi Tharoor has claimed that PM Modi hates Muslims. How do you see this statement in the context of the difficulties faced by the Muslims under the BJP Government in India due to cow vigilantes and other extremist movements being carried out under its patronage? Your comments please! (Tariq Mehmood – HUM TV)

Answer:

Pakistan believes in a peaceful neighborhood. Our armed forces are fully equipped and prepared to defend the motherland against any threat, including strengthening of surveillance.

Regarding your second question, the abhorrent maltreatment of Indian minorities, including Muslims, is a reality. Saner voices in India itself are speaking out against it, but cow vigilantes and mob lynchings continue to rise. It is in India’s best interest to put an end to the strong existing fascism in India. It is to India’s own detriment to encourage such extremism and fascist tendencies which are the ‘acceptable norm’ in India.

Question:

Recently the US has announced to cut-off Military Aid to Pakistan and linked it with progress against LeT. This is the first setback after the appointment of Pakistan’s current Ambassador to the US, Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui. There is a growing criticism and demand from the Pakistani community in the US that Mr. Ali Jahangir Siddiqui has not been successful in promoting Pakistan’s interests, hence he may be removed. What will be his fate and that of other non-career ambassadors like him? Your comments please?

Answer:

According to their contract, non-career ambassadors are deemed to have resigned, unless the new government decides otherwise.

Question:

Recently in a statement, considering the current turmoil in IOK, the Indian Army Chief spoke about keeping the doors open for negotiations which were internally opposed? Have you seen any impact of this on the ground situation? (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Secondly what is Pakistan’s stance regarding the serious problems that have arisen between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada over the alleged interference in the internal matters of Kingdom?

Answer:

Regarding the first question, there is no change in Indian policy on the ground, so far.

Regarding the second question, Pakistan has always supported the sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of other states. Both these aspects are enshrined in the UN Charter and are among the basic tenets of international law, and the foundation of peaceful and friendly inter-state relations.

Pakistan supports the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia protecting its sovereignty, as a matter of principle and the historic brotherly relations between our two countries.

Question:

Media is not covering the frequent deaths of children in Syria, many dying from acute shortage of food. How does Pakistan views this and has

Pakistan done anything to help them? (Salman Hashmi – Forensic Eye)

Answer:

We have consistently stressed the need for dialogue and peace in Syria and an immediate to all human sufferings.

Question:

Please inform if any foreign dignitaries have been invited for the 14th August Celebrations?

Answer:

No foreign dignitaries have been invited for the Independence Day.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of Pakistan

Record of Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 09 August 2018

Opening Remarks

Bismillah Ir-Rehman Nir-Rahim

Assalaam o Alaikum

We start with a round-up of the recent events on the foreign policy front:

As a result of the brutal use of force by the Indian occupation forces during last week, 12 innocent Kashmiris embraced shahadat, which include; Bilal Ahmad Shah, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Riyaz Ahmed Dar and Engineer Khursheed Ahmad Malik, Umar Nazir Malik, Arshad Ahmad Khan, Aijaz Ahmad Paul, Waqar Ahmed Sheikh, Arif Ahamd Mir, Bilal Ahmad Khan, Syeed Murfad Shah, Mohammad Rafiq Gujjar in Kupwara, Sopore, Shopian, Jammu and Ramban areas. We strongly condemn the illegal detention and shifting of Kashmiri women including Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen and Fahmida Sofi from Mandoli Jail to the notorious Tihar Jail in New Delhi. We also express our deep concerns over the health condition of political prisoners including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam Butt, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Aiyaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori and hundreds of Kashmiri leaders and activists in different jails and interrogation centers.

The Hurriyat leadership remains incarcerated while their offices are raided regularly on trumped up charges in an attempt to intimidate them. Political prisoners under the Public Safety Act are being shifted to prisons outside IOK to exert additional psychological pressure on the families and to keep them away from scrutiny.

Journalists, especially foreign journalists are arbitrarily prevented access to IOK, to stop them from witnessing the rapidly deteriorating situation on ground. This is a desperate attempt to cover the truth about the humanitarian emergency and barbaric human rights violations being committed by Indian occupation forces.

Despite rampant Indian state terrorism, Kashmiris in IOK observed a complete strike against Indian attempts to abrogate Article 35-A aimed at changing the demography of IOK to preempt the outcome of any future plebiscite. Underhanded, nefarious Indian designs of this nature are a complete violation of the numerous UNSC Resolutions and international law.

On August 02, 2018 the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control on 2nd August in Mandal Sector, resulting in the shahadat of one innocent civilian (Mrs. Nusrat Bibi w/o Mr. Shakeel, age 35 years) in Ghasla village. The Indian forces along the Line of Control and the Working boundary are continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons. So far in 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 1400 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the shahadats of 30 innocent civilians, while injuring 121 others. The deliberate targeting of civilian population is deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. India should respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement and permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

As you know that the SAI Guangzhou-Lahore flight, which was scheduled to depart on 29 July 2018, was delayed and cancelled due to technical problems. Around 260 passengers were stranded at the airport. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Embassy in Beijing and Consulate General in Guangzhou played an active role in their expeditious return to Pakistan. Throughout, our Consulate remained in touch with the passengers, Shaheen Air International and Civil Aviation Authorities of Pakistan and China to ensure their smooth stay and return. Around 214 passengers, who opted for return to Pakistan, have safely reached Pakistan via a special flight of Shaheen International Airlines. The Foreign Secretary personally monitored the situation and liaised with the government departments for resolving the crisis. Upon arrival the passengers, appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Consulate Guangzhou and Pakistan Embassy Beijing.

In a special humanitaian gesture, Pakistan opened the Munabao Khokrapar border to allow repatriation of an Indian lady, Ms. Reshma who passed away while visiting Pakistan. She was scheduled to return to India on July 28 but she fell ill, eventually passing away on July 25. Her family then wanted to bury her in her hometown in Rajasthan, but missed the weekly Thar express. The Indian MLA Mr. Mavendera Singh has written to the Foreign Secretary to thank Pakistan for the compassionate gesture.

Now the Floor is open for Questions

Question:

Following the brazen attack in Gilgit-Baltistan, in which 14 girls’ schools were torched in different areas, the police have claimed that the attackers were trained in Afghanistan. Your comments please! (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Answer:

There is an ongoing active investigation into this matter. I will revert once we have information.

Question:

The US Administration has re-imposed sanctions and warned that countries that will do business with Iran will suffer. How would you comment on these sanctions, particularly in the context of Pakistan-Iran business and Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline Project?

Supplementary Question

Tensions between Iran and US are rising. What is Pakistan’s view keeping in mind our relations with both the countries? (Mohsin Raza – ASAS Group of Publications)

Supplementary Question

As you know that Turkey and China have taken a strong stance on the issue, what is Pakistan’s position on this issue? Also the new government will soon be in place – will it review the policy? (Asghar Ali Mubarak – Diplomatic Mail)

Answer:

We are examining the implications of the US re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. However, Pakistan, being a sovereign state, reserves the right to pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests while respecting the international legal regime.

Question:

There are overt signs of some kind of talks between the US and the Taliban. Yesterday the General from CENTCOM also stated that there could be dialogue between the United States and Taliban, but not with Daesh. If Taliban and US hold direct talks, how will Pakistan view it? Secondly, whether Pakistan is willing to play any role in bringing the US and Taliban to the table? (Shaukat Piracha – AAJ TV)

Answer:

In line with our consistent policy, Pakistan is willing to make all efforts for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Question:

The Prime Minister elect has reportedly stated that Pakistan and America are going to have a good working relationship which would improve Pakistan’s chances of securing a much needed loan from IMF. How do you view this? (Salman Hashim – Forensic Eye)

Answer:

The question pertains to the Ministry of Finance. Please wait for the new government to take charge before a clear position can emerge.

Question:

The FATF Team is visiting Pakistan during this month. Have they discussed the agenda of their visit with MoFA? Your comments please! (Sardar Alam – One News)

Answer:

Pakistan is prepared for the FATF visit. Ministry of Finance would be able to comment on this question, as it is the line Ministry dealing with the issue.

Supplementary Question:

Reportedly, European Union Ambassador to Pakistan offered help in removing Pakistan from FATF Grey List. How do you respond? (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Supplementary Question:

The European Union Ambassador to Pakistan in a meeting with the PM-elect has said that the EU has no objection over the proposed IP Gas pipeline Project. How do you see this development?

Answer:

Regarding your first question, we have not received any official communication from European Union in this regard.

As far as your second question goes, we have not received any official communication from European Union in this regard. We have noted the reported statement by EU Ambassador. As you are aware, Pakistan is an energy deficient country and we are working on developing multiple sources of energy supply. IP gas pipeline is one of the projects in this regard. EU’s interest in this project would be helpful.

Question:

Was the Foreign Office in the loop of the meeting of Pakistan PR to UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi with Mr. Imran Khan at Bani Gala, Islamabad? Did the officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs also meet Imran Khan and congratulate him on his victory? (Aon Sherazi – SUCH TV)

Answer:

Regarding the meeting of Ambassador Lodhi – No, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not in the loop.

As far as the second part of your question goes, noone from the Ministry has met the Prime Minister – elect so far.

Question:

Is it enough to respond only verbally to the brutal massacre taking place in the Indian occupied Kashmir or do you have any practical plans to help these victims of Indian brutalities?

Answer:

We have vocally raised the Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris at every forum, including the Human Rights Council. The recent UN OHCHR report highlighting the Indian atrocities, recommending an international Commission of Inquiry to look into the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is a validation of our consistent efforts and position. Pakistan welcomes the stance of the OHCHR and is ready to welcome the Commission of Inquiry to AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. We will continue to sensitize the international community to urge India to halt the bloodshed in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

Question:

As per the available information regarding the money trail of Avenfield Apartments, it has become a property of Pakistan Government. How do you plan to get it back from UK? (Anwar Abbas – Waqt News)

Answer:

It appears that your question pertains to the National Accountability Bureau.

Question:

How do you react to the Indian attempts to abrogate the Article 35-A of its Constitution, which confers special status on Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the resulting protests in IOK? What steps has Pakistan taken to lodge its protest on this issue? (Umar Nawaz – Capital TV)

Supplementary Question:

There are reports that non-Kashmiris will be allowed to buy properties inside IOK which would affect the demography of IOK and adversely impact the voting rights of the genuine Kashmiris. How do you see it and how does Pakistan plan to raise it at the UN? (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Answer:

This is not the first time that India is trying to change the demography of IOK. They have been trying to do it for the last 70 years. This is a direct violation of the UNSC Resolutions. We have consistently been raising this issue on international forums shall continue to do so. India cannot hope to crush the legitimate, indigenous Kashmiri struggle by such nefarious, underhanded means. All such Indian efforts have failed previously and will continue to fail. The only solution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is through the realization of the right to self determination of the Kashmiris through an impartial UN administered plebiscite as per the UNSC Resolutions.

Question:

Would you like to comment on the dates of the FATF Team’s visit to Pakistan? (Rabia Peer – Voice of America)

Answer:

This is the subject of Ministry of Finance.

Question:

Recently, the Russian Deputy Minister met the Army Chief and yesterday the US has issued a statement that Russia is trying to assert its presence across the region. In the context of Pakistan-Russia Military exercises, what are your comments? (Anas Malick – Republic TV)

Answer:

I will not be commenting on the US. Regarding Russia and Pakistan relations, our defence relations have grown steadily over the years and both countries have established regular military-to-military contacts. Pakistan and Russia have been successful in developing a strong partnership, which is based on mutual trust, commonality of interests and convergence of views on important global and regional issues. The two countries have been able to construct a positive trajectory in sustaining high-level interactions and exploring new avenues to cement bilateral relations in all spheres including the defence sector.

The two countries have held two editions of the joint military exercise named ‘RUZBA’ (Friendship) in Pakistan in 2016 and in Russia in 2017. Both countries also held counter-narcotics naval exercise called ”Arabian Monsoon” in the Arabian Sea in 2014 and 2015.

A Russian warship participated in the multilateral naval exercise AMAN-2017 from 10-14 February 2017 and PNS Aslat visited Saint Petersburg and participated in Russia’s Navy Day celebrations on July 29, 2018.

Question:

There are reports that the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) is constructing 50 new surveillance posts along the Indo-Pak international border in the Gurdaspur sector, to beef up its border guarding mechanism. Is there a need for Pakistan also to increase its surveillance posts?

Second, Indian Congress leader Mr. Shashi Tharoor has claimed that PM Modi hates Muslims. How do you see this statement in the context of the difficulties faced by the Muslims under the BJP Government in India due to cow vigilantes and other extremist movements being carried out under its patronage? Your comments please! (Tariq Mehmood – HUM TV)

Answer:

Pakistan believes in a peaceful neighborhood. Our armed forces are fully equipped and prepared to defend the motherland against any threat, including strengthening of surveillance.

Regarding your second question, the abhorrent maltreatment of Indian minorities, including Muslims, is a reality. Saner voices in India itself are speaking out against it, but cow vigilantes and mob lynchings continue to rise. It is in India’s best interest to put an end to the strong existing fascism in India. It is to India’s own detriment to encourage such extremism and fascist tendencies which are the ‘acceptable norm’ in India.

Question:

Recently the US has announced to cut-off Military Aid to Pakistan and linked it with progress against LeT. This is the first setback after the appointment of Pakistan’s current Ambassador to the US, Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui. There is a growing criticism and demand from the Pakistani community in the US that Mr. Ali Jahangir Siddiqui has not been successful in promoting Pakistan’s interests, hence he may be removed. What will be his fate and that of other non-career ambassadors like him? Your comments please?

Answer:

According to their contract, non-career ambassadors are deemed to have resigned, unless the new government decides otherwise.

Question:

Recently in a statement, considering the current turmoil in IOK, the Indian Army Chief spoke about keeping the doors open for negotiations which were internally opposed? Have you seen any impact of this on the ground situation? (Khawaja Nayyer – Kashmir Post)

Secondly what is Pakistan’s stance regarding the serious problems that have arisen between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada over the alleged interference in the internal matters of Kingdom?

Answer:

Regarding the first question, there is no change in Indian policy on the ground, so far.

Regarding the second question, Pakistan has always supported the sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of other states. Both these aspects are enshrined in the UN Charter and are among the basic tenets of international law, and the foundation of peaceful and friendly inter-state relations.

Pakistan supports the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia protecting its sovereignty, as a matter of principle and the historic brotherly relations between our two countries.

Question:

Media is not covering the frequent deaths of children in Syria, many dying from acute shortage of food. How does Pakistan views this and has

Pakistan done anything to help them? (Salman Hashmi – Forensic Eye)

Answer:

We have consistently stressed the need for dialogue and peace in Syria and an immediate to all human sufferings.

Question:

Please inform if any foreign dignitaries have been invited for the 14th August Celebrations?

Answer:

No foreign dignitaries have been invited for the Independence Day.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of Pakistan