January 2006 News

Stance on Kashmir clear, says official

3 January 2006
The Dawn

Islamabad: Foreign Secretary Riaz Ahmed Khan told a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday that Pakistan wanted right to self-determination for Kashmiris. Answering queries of the sub- committee he said Pakistan supported resolution of Kashmir dispute as per the aspirations of the Kashmiris and its stance on this long- standing issue was unambiguous. He dispelled the impression that the Pakistan government had changed its stance on Kashmir. Responding to a query from Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, he said that at present 200 Pakistanis were in Indian jails. He informed the committee that Pakistani embassy officials had met all of them in jails and the government would take appropriate measures for their early release. He said after improvement in bilateral relations with India, both countries exchanged over 400 prisoners last year. About deportation of Pakistanis from gulf states he said Middle East countries were preferring locals over foreigners in employments and unskilled Pakistani labourers were finding it difficult to retain jobs. He pointed out that the Foreign Ministry and the government of Pakistan had always approached various countries and requested them to import Pakistani labour force.


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