Bus Service Not For LoC As Int'l Border: Pak
29 March 2005
The Pakistan Tribune
Islamabad: Islamabad on Monday said the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service was not aimed at converting Line of Control into an international border between Pakistan because it did consider LoC part of the festering problem and not a solution.Speaking to his weekly press briefing at foreign affairs ministry, Jalil Abbas Jillani contested All Parities Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's argument that the bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and termed the statement as inaccurate. He said Pakistan took on board Kashmiri leaders before agreeing with India for starting bus service linking Pakistan and India controlled Kashmir territories, adding the service was aimed at facilitating hassle-free interaction between Kashmiri families living across LoC. He said Pakistan considers Kashmir a disputed territory and still wanted a solution to the problem in line with the aspirations of Kashmiri people. He said Pakistan was gravely concerned over the human rights abuses by Indian forces in the occupied Kashmir territories and took up the issue time and again with Indian officials at various levels. The spokesman said, 'we want early engagement of Kashmiris in Pak-India dialogue on the dispute, end to human rights violations and pullout of Indian troops from the valley.' He said Pakistan deemed Kashmir controlled by India a disputed territory and could not support APHC leader Mir Waiz Umar Farooq's proposal for Pakistani president and the Indian prime minister's meeting in Srinagar unless the two sides found a solution to the problem. He said Pakistan deemed Siachen glaciers its territory and wanted India to restore the position of the region as described in the Simla Accord. He said Siachen controversy was on the list of dialogue items. He said Pakistani and Indian defence secretaries met in June 1989 and signed an agreement under which India had to withdraw its troops from the territory. The spokesman said Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao would be visiting Pakistan from April 5 to April 7, along with his cabinet members, senior officials. He said Jiabao would be the keynote speaker at the Asia Cooperation Dialogue moot to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad on April 6. He said the theme of the seminar was Economic Cooperation in Asia. He said the foreign ministers of the 26 member countries including Pakistan would attend the meeting and so far 18 foreign ministers have confirmed their presence, adding representation from other members will also be at the ministerial level. He said the high-level seminar would be attended by experts from the member countries and some foreign ministers from the ACD countries would also address the seminar as guest speakers. 'The outcome of the seminar and ministerial meeting will be in the form of two documents - Islamabad Declaration and Islamabad Initiatives. These documents envisage Asia-wide cooperation in the economic fields and offer a road map for future cooperation among the member countries as well as other Asian countries'. He said the ACD was a Thai initiative and aims at exchanging views on promoting cooperation to build an Asia-wide regional block, on the lines of European Union, and increase Asia's collective strength vis-à-vis other regional blocs. He said it was yet undecided whether the Chinese premier would be inaugurating the Gwadar port project and discussions between Chinese and Pakistani officials were under way in this regard. About twice-postponed South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit, the spokesman said Pakistan wanted early convening of the summit and had proposed to the member states middle of April for it. But there came no confirmation from them, he said. He said early SAARC summit was also required so that the South Asian Free Trade Agreement process goes ahead as per the schedule. The spokesman said there was no relevance between Condoleeza Rice's visit to Pakistan and official disclosure about Dr. Khan's selling nuclear parts to Iran. He said Pakistan was fully cooperating with International Atomic Energy Agency on its investigations into nuclear proliferation and international black market like others countries were doing. He said there was nothing unusual in it. He said Pakistan supported elaborate United Nations Security Council reforms aimed at revitalizing the international body and the process needed to be carried out through consensus so that it could ensure peace and stability and amicable resolution of political conflicts between the countries. He said there should be no more centres of privilege in permanent categories The spokesman denied US state secretary Condoleezza Rice did not seek custody or access to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan for nuclear proliferation investigations and reports in this regard had no foundation. He denied Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the Pakistan Muslim League president, was carrying a special message to New Delhi for Indian leadership from Pakistani leadership on bilateral disputes. He said Chaudhry Shujaat went to India on a goodwill visit which was aimed at promoting interaction between politicians of the two countries to facilitate dialogue process.