Bismillah Ir-Rehman Nir-Rahim
Assalaam o Alaikum
We congratulate the nation on the 71st anniversary of Pakistan's independence, which was celebrated with immense fervor. Our Missions abroad joined in the celebrations by organizing special events to celebrate the Independence Day with the Pakistani Diaspora.
Now a brief round-up of activities on the foreign policy front:
Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir region continues to be engulfed by misery and oppression. The Indian occupied forces killed five (5) people including, Wajid Bashir Ahanger in Baramulla and Budgam areas.
We strongly express our deep concerns over the health condition of political prisoners including, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam Butt, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Fahmida Sofi, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Aiyaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori and hundreds of Hurriyat leaders and activists in different jails and interrogation centers. We also strongly condemn the continued house arrest of APHC Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani and arrest of Muhammad Yasin Malik.
We strongly condemn the so called farcical "search & cordon" operations being carried out by the Indian occupation forces to harass and even rape innocent Kashmiris.
Resisting Indian state oppression, the people of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir celebrated Pakistan's Independence Day and hoisted Pakistan flags at Shopian, Bijbehara, and Srinagar.
Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world observed the Indian Independence Day, 15 August, as Black Day to convey the message to the international community that India continues to illegally occupy their homeland.
Pakistan is following with immense concern the crisis in the relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada. Pakistan stands by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in protecting its sovereignty as a matter of principle and based on the historic and brotherly relations between our two countries.
The people and the Government of Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the Government and the people of Turkey in their quest for peace and prosperity, and as always, will continue to stand by them towards the achievement of these shared goals. Pakistan is opposed to imposition of unilateral sanctions against any country.
To mark Pakistan's Independence Day, the Government of Pakistan, as a humanitarian gesture, decided to release 30 Indian prisoners, including 27 fishermen, on 13 August 2018. This is in line with Pakistan's consistent policy of not politicizing humanitarian issues.
We are proud of SUPARCO for successfully launching Pakistan's first Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) and Pakistan's indigenous Technology Evaluation Satellite (PakTES-1A).
Now the floor is open for questions.
Reportedly, Indian PM has said "people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir had thanked me and I am grateful to them". How would you like to interpret PM Modi's statement? Furthermore, he has called Pakistan a supporter of terrorism. Also, has the Foreign Office clarified the matter of suspected chip found in the shoe of Commander Jadhav's wife and do you think that both the relatives of Commander Jadhav were spies? (Sib Kaifee - Arab News)
I have not seen the reported comments of the Indian Prime Minister; however, we have repeatedly clarified our position in this regard. The Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains pending on the UN Security Council's agenda. The solution as per the UN Security Council Resolutions is the plebiscite that is to be held under the auspices of the United Nations, to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The issue was taken to the UN Security Council by the founding fathers of India and India has to honour the commitments made by them. Regarding the question of Commander Jadhav, the fact that he was caught red handed in Balochistan, is ample evidence of Indian State involvement in terrorism in Balochistan, Sindh and the rest of Pakistan. We will fight the case in the International Court of Justice. We urge upon India to permit the Commission of Inquiry, as recommended by the recent Report of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Jammu and Kashmir. India must allow the Commission of Inquiry to visit the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for ascertaining the facts on ground, especially, if India has nothing to hide. Lastly, on Commander Jadhav, I have nothing to add.
Was the Foreign Office in the loop for the meeting of Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, with Mr. Imran Khan at Banigala, Islamabad? In his meeting with the Indian HC, reportedly Imran Khan pledged to strengthen SAARC. They also talked about the SAARC Summit to be held in Pakistan. When is the SAARC Summit taking place and do you think Indian leadership will attend, keeping in view the fact that Pakistan has become a domestic issue in India 2019 elections? (Khawaja Nayyar - Kashmir Post)
We believe the SAARC Summit is long delayed. Such delays do not reflect well on member states. Pakistan is ready to hold the Summit at the earliest and maintains that its expedited convening is essential so that things can progress and move forward.
There are reports in Indian Media about the release of Indian inmate, Gajendra Sharma by the Pakistani authorities, after spending 36 years in Prison. Is it true and has he been swapped for a Pakistani prisoner or he completed his term? Would you also like to shed some light on the case of another Indian Prisoner, Omer Farooq Khan, to whom the court declined to grant remission? Have you shared the information regarding the charges along with proofs with the Indian side?
There are reports in the media that a student of Pakistan origin was attacked in Australia. Would you please confirm the report and has our Mission in Australia taken some steps? (Shabbir Wahgra - PTV World)
As you are aware, Pakistan repatriated 30 Indian prisoners, including fishermen, on 13 August 2018 in a compassionate gesture to mark our Independence Day. I will get the specific details regarding the prisoners namely, Gajendra Sharma and Umar Farooq Khan from the Ministry of Interior, as the subject is dealt with by them.
Regarding your second question, let me tell you that our Mission in Australia is in contact with the Australian Foreign Office, as well as, with the Pakistani Student to ascertain the motive behind the attack. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad is also in contact with the Australian High Commission in Islamabad for ensuring the well-being of the student. A strong protest is being registered with the Australian Government. We have also asked them to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani nationals.
Reportedly Afghan authorities have alleged that the wounded militants in Ghazni attack are from Pakistan and they are currently being treated in hospitals at Peshawar and Quetta. Can you verify the reports of involvement of Pakistan in Ghazi attack and that wounded militants were brought to Pakistan for treatment? (Asif Ali Raza - ARY News)
Afghanistan has alleged that Pakistan was involved in Ghazni attack. Mr. Afrasiab Khattak has also tweeted that dead bodies of Pakistani nationals involved in the attack have been taken back to Pakistan - how would you like to comment on this? Secondly, there are reports that the Taliban have announced a ceasefire on Eid-ul-Adha. How Pakistan views this and what is your stance? (Rashida Sial - Abb Takk)
The Afghan Defence Minister has alleged that the Taliban and foreign intelligence agencies including Pakistan were behind the Ghazni attack. Your comments please! (Muhammad Jalil - VOA)
We have not received any evidence to back up these spurious accusations and reject these baseless allegations.
There are reports in Indian media that Pakistan committed 1432 cease fire violations so far during this year-the maximum so far during this year. Your comments and do you have the same data for the Violation committed by the Indian side along the LOC. Secondly, Indian media has alleged that Pakistan's intelligence agency is behind the Khalistan Movement in Canada and Europe, and it has orchestrated plan of referendum 2020 in India. What is your reaction? (Asghar Ali Mubarak - Dailymail Islamabad)
Indian occupation forces have committed more than 1400 ceasefire violations this year (compared to 1970 in 2017) so far resulting in the shahadats of 30 innocent civilians and injuring more than 121. Indian Cfvs are aimed at diverting the attention of the international community from Indian atrocities and the deteriorating situation in IOK. We would urge India to allow UNMOGIP to monitor the ceasefire along the LoC and Working Boundary. They can be helpful in enforcing the ceasefire.
As far as the Sikh event goes, there is nothing new. India habitually blames Pakistan for everything even for natural disasters. India should introspect and stop blaming Pakistan for everything. India would benefit more by putting its own house in order and addressing the atrocious maltreatment of Indian minorities, rather than attacking imaginary shadows.
In response to your second question, the knee jerk tendency of the Indian media to make false allegations against Pakistan can only be considered delusive. I shall not comment on media speculations which border on illusions. India would do well to put an immediate halt to the continuing Indian atrocities in IOK where curfews and suspended communication services are a norm and innocent Kashmiri women are harassed and raped with impunity in the guise of search and cordon operations. India should put an immediate halt to these atrocities instead of leveling baseless allegations of infiltrations against Pakistan to divert international attention from its own crimes against Kashmiris.
It has been learnt that Afghan border fencing will be complete by December 2018. Without repatriating the Afghan refugees, how far is the fencing move helpful in addressing the infiltration and insurgency problems? (Shaukat paracha - AJJ News)
Pakistan is fencing the Afghan-Pakistan border with the objective of regulating movement of men and material, including narcotics, as part of our counter-terrorism efforts. The effort in this regard, besides allowing more effective control of movements will be important for the long-term regional stability and improvement of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The two countries under the auspices of APAPPS are engaged in developing a time bound repatriation plan for early and complete repatriation of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan. In this regard, an Afghan delegation from Afghan Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation will visit Islamabad shortly to have consultations.
How does Pakistan view the prospects of TAPI gas pipeline, keeping in view the evolving geo-strategic scenario and the delicate regional balance- US imposed sanctions on Iran? Pakistan has stated that it remains committed to the business relations with Iran. However, if Pakistan opts for IMF bailout package, the US may link that with giving up business relations with Iran. Similarly, India is enhancing relations with Iran to promote Chahbahar Port while China and Pakistan are developing the Gawadar port. What are your comments in this backdrop? (Shaukat paracha - AJJ News)
Connectivity, energy related and economic projects are important factors in any evolving political and economic situation in a region. In this context all regional connectivity projects related to Pakistan are important. Pakistan is cognizant of its role as an important bridge to promote regional connectivity, economic cooperation and development. For long-term stability in the region, Pakistan's national interests remain the main decisive factor.
After the orders of the Supreme Court regarding the construction of Bhasha and Diamar dams, India is reportedly planning operations in Chilas. Three India Commanders namely Khalid, Shah Faisal and Shah Omar had planned the operation in which three policemen from the same family namely Fazal Rahman, Wakeel and Nawabzada have been martyred. What is your stance and how seriously do our security agencies treat this matter? (Salman Hashmi - Forensic Eye)
Indian state interventions in Pakistan are a well known fact, as I said earlier about Commander Jadhav. They are not hidden from us and our security forces and police are fully prepared to tackle such acts.
Could you please some details regarding visit of FATF team to Pakistan (Ali Hussain - Business Recorder)
This is the subject of the Ministry of Finance.
It has been reported that the National Defence University of the US has suspended training for the Pak military professionals. Was Pakistan formally informed and how Pakistan plans to lobby for resuming the subject training programmes or finding alternatives - How would this move affect Pak-US cooperation in the war on terror? (Anas Malik - Neo News)
The US has provided training to Pakistan military officials under a specific program - International Military Education and Training- IMET, for the last many years. However, as of January this year, all security assistance to Pakistan was suspended. The IMET programme for Pakistani officers was also affected by this decision. Both countries are engaged to resolve all issues.
PTI has managed to make a government in Pakistan. The Indian Media is alleging charges against the PTI Chief Mr. Imran Khan due to his clear stance on Jammu and Kashmir. How does it affect the ongoing situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir? (Ms. Bushara - Country News)
Indian Media needs to grow up.
In Samjhauta Express Case, earlier the Indian government had forwarded summons to be served on 13 witnesses from Pakistan to appear before the Indian court. What is Pakistan's stance on this issue and has Pakistan taken any decision so far or not? (Khawaja Nayyar - Kashmir Post)
The question pertains to the M/o Interior, the line Ministry for the case. However, Pakistan is gravely concerned at the lack of progress in bringing the perpetrators of the heinous Samjhota terror attacks, in which 42 Pakistanis lost their lives, to justice, despite a lapse of ten years. Efforts for the systemic exoneration of the accused, including Swami Aseemanad and Col. Purhoit raise serious questions about the Indian judicial system and the credibility of the Indian Government.
Ambassador Sahibzada Ahmed Khan has joined as Pakistan's Ambassador to UK, do you think he will be able to get back the looted money to Pakistan? (Salman Hashmi - Forensic Eye)
The question pertains to NAB. Our Ambassadors will act as per its requirements accordingly.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of Pakistan