Islamabad, March 26, 2015 (PPI-OT):
Reports have appeared in the media that deportation of 8 Pakistani prisoners took place in November last year without following the correct procedure. While the Ministry of Interior is the focal point for this subject, it is important to give some clarifications.
An Agreement on Transfer of Offenders exists between Pakistan and Thailand since December 2009. As per this Agreement, a large number of our prisoners have been deported back to Pakistan over the years to complete their prison sentence here.
Most of the Pakistani prisoners in Thailand are serving sentences on drug trafficking charges with lengthy sentences (20-40 years or even life). In all cases proper procedures as laid down in the Agreement and in consultation with the Ministry of Interior are followed.
In this particular case, as before, the procedures were followed and Ministry of Interior was informed well in advance of the decision of the Thai government to deport 8 prisoners. It was only after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Interior that these prisoners were deported and after completion of all codal formalities.
All Pakistan Missions work relentlessly in providing all kinds of consular and welfare services to our citizens abroad. Every effort is taken to alleviate the problems being faced by our community and consular assistance is provided on regular basis to our prisoners.
The Floor is open for Questions:
Since last night there are media reports that Saudi Security Forces had gone inside into Yemen to quell unrest there. According to Saudi Press Agency(SPA) Pakistan had hinted at providing security forces in helping Saudi Armed forces in their aggression against Yemen. Can you confirm these reports? (Mateen Haider- Dawn News)
According to Media reports, the rebel groups in Yemen backed by Iran are taking over the country. Security Situation in Yemen is deteriorating day by day. What steps are being taken by the Government of Pakistan to protect its diplomatic staff and citizens in Yemen? (Zarghoon Shah – Geo TV)
What is Pakistan’s analysis on the current security situation in Yemen? (Anwar Abbas-Waqat News)
The commentary on the situation is for the analysts and commentators. I will start with the question about Pakistani Mission and Pakistani community. Well they have been alerted. No decision has yet been taken to shut down the Embassy.
As per our practice, the community was already cautioned about the possibility of the situation being deteriorating and advised to evacuate. The Embassy has also been alerted. Since they are on the ground, they have to give their assessment of the situation. If the assessment is that situation has reached a stage where they need to be evacuated then they will be evacuated.
As regards the media reports well I can confirm that we have been contacted by Saudi Arabia in this regard and the matter is being examined. That’s all I have to say at the moment.
Just follow up to the previous question, has Iran, which is backing rebels, also requested Pakistan to extend support to rebel groups in Yemen? (Qasim Nauman-Wall Street Journal)
This is your interpretation and your assumption. I have not seen anything that Iran is backing the rebels. The question, therefore, is not relevant.
According to Foreign Media, Pakistani Security forces are also participating in the current Saudi led operations in Yemen. Can you confirm these reports? (Fida Hussain-Radio News FM 99)
This question has already been asked and I have responded to it.
Jammu and Kashmir Hurriyat Leader and Chairperson of Dukhtaran Millat Asiya Andrabi had been booked for unfurling Pakistan flag on its National Day in Srinagar. What is Pakistan’s position on it especially when Pakistan claims that it has its complete and full sympathies with Kashmiris on their just struggle for right of self determination? (Mudassar Hussain-Khyber News)
Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory, future of which is to be decided by the people of Jammu and Kashmir through the exercise of free and fair plebiscite, as guaranteed to them by the UN Security Council resolutions. They are not Indian citizens.
While raising of Pakistan flags reflects the sentiments of Kashmiri people and their love for Pakistan, it also reinforces what we already know that Kashmiris in occupied territory are being subjected to suppressive measures. They are not allowed to express their views and sentiments. Pakistan has always and will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to their cause.
On non-facilitation of visas by Indian authorities to the parents of five victims of Samjhautha Express terrorist attack to visit the graves of their children, what is Foreign Office position on it? (Shaukat Parachi-Aaj News)
We have been informed about this unfortunate situation. As far as I know, they have been given visa but not to the place where their children are buried, despite indicating very clearly that they wanted to visit the graves of their children. Our Mission in New Delhi is making efforts with the Indian Government to facilitate the parents’ visit to their children’s graves.
This couple lost 5 children in the terrorist attack on Samjhautha Express. Their pain is unimaginable and the insensitivity in this regard is inconceivable. While some of the terrorists involved in the attack roam free, the parents are denied the permission to visit the graves of their children. The bereaved Pakistani families are still awaiting justice.
The prosecutor in Ajmal Qasab case last week stated that statement made by him on Ajmal Kasab’s desire for Muttan Biryani was concocted to divert public attention. What is your position on it? (Shaukat Parachi-Aaj News)
This is a very disturbing development. It raises questions about the credibility of the entire investigations, evidence and other trial processes.
Is the Prime Minister of Pakistan going to Singapore to participate in the funeral of Lee Kuan Yew? (Amjad Ali-PTV News)
There is no such decision at the moment.
After your briefing last week, the United Nation has issued a detailed Press Release asking Pakistan to withdraw it moratorium on death penalty. The EU outgoing Ambassador in Pakistan has also expressed concerns on the restoration of death penalty in Pakistan. What steps Foreign Office is taking to mitigate their concerns? (Shabbir Waghra-PTV World News)
I have already given you the details of legal provisions, both in the international law and domestic law about the death penalty. There is nothing in international law that forbids it. I, even cited the relevant articles from ICCPR in the last briefing, which clearly allow death penalty in most serious cases which is the case in Pakistan. I do not have anything further to add.
According to media reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to arrive in Pakistan in April. Can you confirm the dates and agenda of the visit? (Imdad Hussain-Online News Agency)
Chinese President’s visit is confirmed. We have confirmed it again and again. What we have not confirmed are the dates. As per our practice, the dates of the visit will be announced simultaneously in Beijing and Islamabad.
Regarding the substance of the visit as close friends and strategic partners, Pakistan and China would review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, besides consulting on regional and global developments of common interest. Important agreements, which would further cement our cooperation across a diverse range of areas, are also expected to be signed during the visit.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan