Home / Government Institutions / Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesman on 12 April 2012

Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesman on 12 April 2012

Islamabad: There are no opening remarks to make. Are there any questions?

Question

I want to know about the security measure taken by Pakistani authorities for the Pakistani expatriates in Indonesian earthquake hit areas?

Answer

We are in touch with our Mission in Jakarta. According to initial information, there is no Pakistani in those areas which were hit by the earthquake.

Question

Keeping in view the Indian offer to restart the dialogue process with Pakistan, will Pakistan take the advantage of resolving the serious issue of Siachen by calling the respective forces back from the area especially after the recent tragic incident which has caused huge damage to our army in terms of personnel?

Answer

The Siachen is, as you know, already part of the dialogue process. There is nothing new about it. As far as Pakistan is concerned we have always maintained that all issues between Pakistan and India should be resolved, especially the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. That continues to be our policy.

All the bilateral issues including Siachen, Sir Creek, are part of the dialogue agenda. We hope that as this dialogue process moves forward, our two countries will be able to move beyond the CBMs because it is important for the two countries to settle these issues and move forward.

Question

Has Pakistan decided yet to participate in the upcoming Chicago summit, and if yes, who will represent Pakistan? Second question – have the dates for the Prime Minister’s visit to UK been finalized? Third question – What are your comments on the construction of the new building in US Embassy?

Answer

No decision has the been taken about Pakistan’s participation in the Chicago summit. As regards your second question, the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit UK for the first annual review of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue that will be somewhere in the second week of the next month. Regarding your third question, the construction of a new building in the US Embassy – this Ministry is looking into the matter.

Question

President Zardari visited India. He went to Dargah Sharif and held a meeting with the Indian Prime Minister. Officially, we do not know as what have been discussed in this 45-minute long meeting and what can you share with us on official grounds? Second question – certain reports appeared in media that Pakistan is rapidly expanding its nuclear capability. It is roughly spending 2.5 billion per year. How do you respond?

Answer

Regarding your first question, you would recall that both President Zardari and Prime Minister Singh, following their meeting, did talk to the media and they reiterated their mutual desire to have a pragmatic and practical dialogue process and move forward resolving all the core issues which continue to bedevil our relations. So, I think this reiteration would help push the dialogue process forward.

At the end of the day, the effectiveness and credibility of any dialogue process hinge on its results. We hope that this dialogue, as our Foreign Minister said on many occasions, is result-oriented. We are looking forward to achieve results from this dialogue process and that will continue to be our efforts.

As regards your second question, our deterrence is integral to our security calculus. We will maintain the credibility of our deterrence at the minimum possible level under all circumstances. So, this we will do, whatever may come. But it is very difficult for me to get into specifics on this issue.

Question

Will you elaborate your statement that the Foreign Ministry is looking into the matter of construction of a building in the American Embassy. Here, I would refer to a letter written by the ISI to the CDA in which they have shown serious concerns and the probability of installation of surveillance devices on an eight storey high rise inside the American Embassy, which they think can be utilized for electronic monitoring of the sensitive government buildings across the Constitution Avenue.

Are you aware of any such letter and have you conveyed it to the US Embassy. As in the letter by ISI to CDA., ISI has asked CDA to immediately withdraw the NOC for the construction?

Answer

As I said earlier, we are looking into the matter. We are in touch with all the relevant departments. I cannot say much beyond this at this stage.

Question

Though the joint session of the parliament is going on, can you explain why high-level visits from the US are taking place when our parliamentary process is still under way, the National Security Committee of the Parliament is also meeting.

My second question is regarding the recent visit of Saudi Prince to Pakistan as according to media reports, Saudis are offering Pakistan something beneficial to overcome the current energy crisis, to shun down the Iranian option of IP Gas Pipeline?

Answer

On your first question, Pakistan and US have mutual desire, because we are both important to each other, to have good, normal and mutually beneficial relations. So, we never broke our relations with the US. There is a problem and both sides are working to overcome the current difficulties in our bilateral relations.

All those visits and bilateral interactions were aimed at discussing all the issues and to see as how best we can address the present difficulties. As I said in my last interaction with you, everything depends on what final policy guidelines we get from the parliament and we are all waiting for this process to complete.

As both our countries attach importance to this relationship, we hope that after the parliamentary process is over, our two countries will be able to get together and define outlines and contours of our bilateral engagement which will be based on mutual benefit and mutual respect. As for your second question, Saudi Arabia is a brotherly country with which we have very strong relations in all areas.

It is also a significant member of the group of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is our important development partner. I can tell you that there is no pressure from Saudi Arabia on IP Gas Pipeline project. Iran is also a brotherly country and there are no linkages involved between our relations with Saudi Arabia and our relations with Iran.

We consider both the countries as our friends and brothers and attach highest of importance in further deepening our relations with them in all spheres.

Question

Have you received any final report, following the visit of our judicial commission to India for probing into Mumbai attacks?

Answer

I am not aware of Pakistan having received any such documents but they should be on their way, I think.

Question

There were reports in the media a few days back regarding the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline that the Russian company which showed its desire to finance this project has put a condition that the company will also manage the project and there are reports that Pakistan may go for another option instead of following this condition?

Answer

I have not seen anything to this effect.

Question

I draw your attention towards the misery of unfortunate Pakistani prisoners in India. The Indian Supreme Court is talking about our prisoners but there is no word from here? Last time when the issue of Dr. Khalil Chishti was there, Mr. Justice Markhandi Karchu sent an appeal to the Indian Government, whereas our Supreme Court said it is within the jurisdiction of the Indian Supreme court. Whereas one Pakistani prisoner has been released on the request from the Indian Supreme Court when there is no word from our Supreme Court. What should we infer from this?

Answer

Frankly speaking, I cannot tell you what to infer. You can infer whatever you want to infer.

Question

According to some reports regarding the IP Gas Pipeline, there are news that India wants to rejoin the project. Your comments please?

Answer

Not to my knowledge, I have not come across any such proposition that India is willing to rejoin this project.

Question

The remarks made by Prime Minister Gilani at his residence in Lahore, generated rumours about some reshuffle at any level when he said that a fresh team will carry on the bilateral talks with India. What did he mean by that?

Answer

It has already been clarified by the Prime Minister’s Office. By “fresh team” the Prime Minister meant the new Foreign Secretary and the High Commissioner-designate to New Delhi, Mr. Salman Bashir.

Concluding remarks:

So, ladies and gentlemen, before I leave you, may I tell you that this is my last interaction with you as the Spokesperson of the Foreign Office. It has been really wonderful to work with you all, to interact with you in this very room, and also individually.

It has been very rewarding experience, and I am grateful to each one of you for your cooperation and support. I am indebted to all of you for bearing with me not once but twice. I will be leaving for Berlin sometime this month. I look forward to staying in touch with you.

Meanwhile, let me assure you that the person who is succeeding me will outshine all his predecessors, particularly his immediate predecessors. Mr. Moazzam Ahmed Khan is and outstanding officer, and I am confident that he will be having your fullest cooperation.

He will be discharging his responsibilities of the Spokesman in addition to his current position as Director General (Europe). You can imagine the overload. Therefore I seek your indulgence in advance.

Good luck Moazzam, and thank you very much, and goodbye.

For more information, contact:
Syed Haider Ali Jafri
Personal Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 921 0335 and 9056604

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