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Office of the Spokesman
(MOFA)

Record of the Press Briefing held on 10 August 2012

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

 

I don’t have any announcement to make. I look forward to your questions.

Question

My first question is about the recent visit of DG ISI to United States. Now that DG ISI is back and according to the reports from ISPR and US State Department it was a very productive meeting. So what is the way forward now after this meeting about the future terms of engagements between the two countries? My second question is that what is the stance and position of Pakistan on Syria during the recent Tehran conference and the upcoming conference in Saudi Arabia? Whether Pakistan is acquiring a pro-Saudi or pro-Iranian approach?

Answer

As for your first question, as you have yourself noted, it was a productive visit and the ISPR has also issued a detailed press release on the visit. Regarding the way forward, there are certain proposals under consideration but I don’t have anything specific to share with you at the moment. But what I can tell you is that we are working on various proposals.

As regards your second question, Foreign Minister Khar went to Tehran to attend the Consultative Ministerial Conference on Syria. You must have seen the statement of the Foreign Minister, which conveys our position very clearly. We are obviously concerned over the deteriorating situation in Syria and want a peaceful resolution of the issue based on the principles of non-intervention, non-interference, and of course non use of force.

Question

Two foreign Journalists who were kidnapped in Syria and later on were recovered as one from UK and one from Netherlands, mentioned in their talks with the media that the kidnappers were from Pakistan, Bangladesh and the UK. Your comments please.

Answer

I don’t have any comment on that. But I can check on it and get back to you.

Question

Indian Supreme Court has stated that Pakistan is not sharing information about the nationality of more then 26 prisoners who are suspected to be Pakistanis and they have passed their sentence in the Indian jails. What is our position on this? Secondly many Hindus are migrating from Pakistan to India. The Interior Minister has said that they are raising this issue with the Indian High Commission in Pakistan. Is it so sir?

Answer

Basically both these questions pertain to the Ministry of Interior. It is the Ministry of Interior which is dealing with the issue of prisoners. But I can tell you that there is an established mechanism under which both countries deal with this issue. There is a thorough process of ascertaining or certifying the nationality of the prisoners but I can’t give you a specific answer as to what is the situation at the moment.

Question

Recently the US has released some $280 million for the energy sector of Pakistan. There is an apprehension that the funds are released after Pakistan has assured that it will not pursue with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. Please elaborate our position on it?

Answer

Let me tell you categorically that there is no linkage what so ever. Yes you are right that US$ 280 million have been released under the Kerry Luger Bill for the up-gradation of Mangla Dam and Kurram Tangi Dam. But there is no linkage between the two.

Question

The Afghan officials say that the release of Mulla brothers can be helpful in the Afghan peace process and they have been asking for a direct access to the Mulla brothers who are in custody of Pakistan. What is your comment about it?

Answer

The issue of prisoners is under discussion between the two countries but I don’t have any specific outcome or information to share with you.

 

Question

According to a couple of reports from domestic and foreign media, there is again tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan therefore the visit of High Level Peace Council Chairman Sallahuddin Rabbani was cancelled. Whether there has been any scheduling of the visit which has been cancelled or when the visit is taking place?

Answer

As you know, during the recent visit of the Prime Minister to Afghanistan, Prime Minister Ashraf extended an invitation to the High Peace Council to visit Pakistan. Of course we attach a lot of importance to their visit to Pakistan. So basically there is a scheduling problem as the both sides are working to chalk out a mutually convenient date. I don’t see anything beyond that.

Question

Hundreds and thousands of Muslims are being killed brutally in Myanmar. Why Foreign Office is terribly quiet about the issue? Have you raised this issue with the Burmese Government?

Answer

We are certainly not quiet about this issue. We are deeply concerned about the situation in Myanmar. If you remember in the last briefing, we made our position very clear on that and recently again I think you all know that President Zardari has also sent a letter to his counterpart expressing deep concern over the plight of Muslims in Myanmar and urged him to take appropriate measures to address this issue.

Question

Is there any linkage between the scheduling of high level peace council chairman Sallah uddin’s visit and access to Mulla brothers and other Talibans in Pakistan?

Answer

No Sir.

 

 

 

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