ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday again warned that nothing less than a sustained and result-oriented dialogue with India to resolve the longstanding disputes including Jammu and Kashmir can ensure peace and prosperity in the region. Replying to a question at the weekly briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said,”aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be suppressed for ever and they will ultimately win their right of self-determination.”He called upon the international community to use its good offices with India to help settle this longstanding dispute.The spokesman rejected claims of the Indian side that dialogue between the two countries in July this year failed because of the non-cooperative attitude of Pakistan. He explained that it was India’s attempt to underplay Jammu and Kashmir and other important and unavoidable issues that caused the impasse in the meeting.He also contradicted Indian claims that the two sides were about to sign an agreement and said the document which was being negotiated by the two sides contained a road-map for future engagement. However, India was not ready to give Pakistan a definite timeline on Jammu and Kashmir, Siachin and peace and security issues.he spokesman said, “It was not possible for Pakistan to agree to a document which does not contain clear a time-frame of discussions on these issues”.
To a question, the spokesman acknowledged that Pakistan has proposed to India a visit by a judicial commission in order to move the whole trial process in Pakistan relating to Mumbai incident forward. The commission would most likely be a two-man entity and its scope, mandate and terms of reference are being worked out, he added.
Asked to comment on Indian Air Chief’s remarks about internal situation in Pakistan, the spokesman asserted that countries do have problems and difficulties but as for Pakistan’s defence is concerned it is impregnable in every respect. He said ,”Pakistan is fully alive to its security requirements and its armed forces are capable of responding to any aggression.”About the on-going Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue in Washington, the spokesman said today working groups on energy, health, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, economy and finance and women empowerment will meet.
He said tomorrow, the two sides will have indepth discussions on the post flood situation including Government of Pakistan’s response and reconstruction and rehabilitation requirements of the country.He said US President Obama met with the Pakistan’s delegation yesterday and reiterated that the US would continue making focused efforts to further strengthening broad-based Pakistan-US relations in mutual interests and on the basis of mutual respect.The spokesman said President Obama also informed the delegation that he was looking forward to visiting Pakistan sometime next year.To a question, the Foreign Office spokesman said the legislation regarding Reconstruction Opportunity Zones was under consideration of the US Congress. He hoped that it would be expedited so that Pakistan has greater market access for its products in the US.The spokesman told a questioner that Pakistan supports Afghanistan-led reconciliation process in that country.
About US demands for military operation in North Waziristan Agency, he said Pakistan has its own strategy to deal with militancy and terrorism and what it will do will be in its national interests. He said already there are 34000 troops in North Waziristan and to say that Pakistan is totally oblivious of the situation is not correct. “Pakistan is doing whatever is required to. be done. It is seized of the matter and if a full scale operation is required, the country will not hesitate to initiate that but its timing and scope will be determined in accordance with long-term interests of Pakistan,” he said.
The spokesman said Pakistan highly values the generous Saudi assistance to mitigate sufferings of the flood affected people. He said the Saudi Ambassador was himself instrumental in coordinating relief assistance and visited almost all flood hit areas.
To another question he said there was absolutely no change in Pakistan’s policy on Iranian nuclear issue.
Referring to the remarks of the Foreign Minister on the subject, he said the Minister was responding to a question and what he said was that Iran itself had articulated its position against acquiring nuclear weapons.He said, “Iran is a brotherly neighbouring country of Pakistan with which we have very very strong ties and we strongly believe that issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme should be resolved peacefully through dialogue. – App