Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokes person’s press briefing

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokes person’s press briefing

Islamabad, November 08, 2012 (PPI-OT): This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated]

Opening Statement

I have a couple of announcements to make: The regional Ministerial Conference on Counter narcotics is being hosted by Pakistan in Islamabad on 12-13 November. This Conference is taking place at the initiative of President Zardari and all the regional countries including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan have been invited.

The basic objective of this Conference is to share national experiences in countering the menace of illicit drugs and discussing prospects of regional cooperation in developing pragmatic, comprehensive and sustainable ways of addressing the multifaceted challenge posed by the illicit drugs production and of course, trafficking.

The other announcement is regarding the Foreign Minister’s visit to Bangladesh tomorrow. She will be visiting as the Special Envoy of the President of Pakistan. During her visit she would personally deliver the invitation to Prime Minister of Bangladesh inviting her to participate in the forthcoming D-8 Summit, which is being hosted in Islamabad on 22nd November 2012.

Question and Answers Session:

Question:

Today is the November 08, Chinese Congress party is opening its 18th National Congress. Would you like to make some comments on that and also would you like to predicts the future China-Pakistan Strategic partnership and friendship?

Answer:

Of course it goes without saying that China is Pakistan’s best friend and strategic partner, and all weather friend. We look forward to the proceedings. As far as the future relationship between the two countries is concerned, of course, I have no doubt and we look forward to working with the new leadership to further deepen and expand our multifaceted relations with China.

Question:

How many confirmations have been received from the D-8 members that their heads of state are visiting Pakistan?

Answer:

I will have to recheck, but offhand I can tell you that the Prime Minister of Turkey is expected to come, Iran is coming, President of Egypt has also confirmed his participation at the head of state level, Nigeria has also confirmed its participation.

Question:

This is regarding Narcotics conference, would you like to tell us what is the level of participation? is it Ministerial level or Deputy Prime Minister level or something like that and what is the theme? What is Pakistan going to present before the Conference, any new theme because there have been plenty of conferences, seminars and visits where this issue was discussed but still Narco trade is very much active near the border areas of Pakistan. So what new theme, what new strategy would Pakistan be presenting before the conference, being the host?

Answer:

It will be at the Ministerial level. And it will be inaugurated by President Zardari. The basic idea of this Conference is to share national experiences and as you have yourself noted we have not been able to control this menace. The whole idea is to exchange views and discuss concrete proposals because all these countries are the affected countries.

Question:

I have been heard that the Indian Prime Minister would be visiting Pakistan in November, so would you like to inform us whether any date has been finalized, anything like that?

Answer:

No update on that. We have extended an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, so it really depends as to when he finds it convenient to visit Pakistan.

Question:

President Obama has been reelected by the American people yesterday. He will be president once again, but with the presidency of Obama the relationship between the two countries that has been passing through zigzag process after Salala incident. But the question of drones and the question of Afghanistan still remain.

These positions are not shared by the two countries? What are your comments or your observations as to what instant the two countries will be able to come together, or the damage done by the drones and others will keep the two countries further apart from each other?

Answer:

Actually the issues of divergence between the two countries as you pointed out, particularly the drone attacks, are also in a way points of convergence in a sense that both sides are conscious of the fact that this issue has to be taken care of. We have repeatedly expressed our position on drones and of course it remains unchanged. We feel that this is an issue which really requires a mutually acceptable solution, and that can only be achieved through meaningful discussions. We look forward to working with the Obama Administration.

The Prime Minister and the President both have congratulated him on his re-election and it would be the effort and desire on part of the both countries to put this relationship on a sustainable and smooth track. Because at the end of the day, I think we both share common objectives. Apart from expanding the existing bilateral relations, we have some common objectives particularly, peace and stability in the region.

Question:

First there is a report that Iranian Vice President has cancelled his visit to Pakistan, what are the reasons? Secondly you mentioned about mutual acceptable solution to the drones? Can you little elaborate what it could be and what options have been put on the table to resolve this issue?

Answer:

I cannot really elaborate, but as I said it has to be mutually acceptable. Regarding the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister’s visit, I think it was basically a scheduling issue and nothing more than that.

Question:

There are reports that certain US intelligence officials have confirmed that they know that Maulvi Fazlullah is in Afghanistan but they are deliberately not tracking them because he is not on their priority list. Your comments please?

Answer:

We have shared dossiers on Fazlullah both with the Afghan government as well as ISAF. We are intensively engaging both sides to take care of this issue. There are some responses and we are closely working on that.

Question:

Can you talk about the items discussed during President Zardari’s visit to Qatar, particularly the report that an agreement has been signed about the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar?

Answer:

No agreement was signed, but both leaders agreed that the two sides need to work out the modalities on a fast track basis to conclude the agreement.

Question:

Our embassy in South Africa has stopped Pakistanis from coming into the embassy to get their passport renewed and get their ID Cards made. Instead the people they have designated through whom they can get their passports and ID cards renewed are charging at least five or six times more than original fee, and they do not even get receipts. What is the mechanism, how they do it internationally and what are the instructions for our embassy?

Answer:

Well the instructions in this regard to all our missions are very clear. They have to facilitate all Pakistanis where ever they are. I am surprised to know that they are charging five to six times more than the normal fee. This is a very serious allegation. We will have to check with the embassy.

Question:

Would you like to update us on the most controversial letter written to Swiss authorities? It was reported that the letter was sent through diplomatic bag? Would you like to confirm to us that the letter has been delivered to Swiss authorities?

Answer:

The letter has been sent through us.

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

Leave a Reply