No Secret Overtures On Kashmir: FO

10 December 2009
Pakistan Observer
Tanvir Siddiqi

Islamabad: Pakistan wants meaningful, constructive and result oriented dialogue with India to resolve all the outstanding issues between the two countries. Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit at a news briefing here on Thursday said in this connection the ball is now in India’s court. To a question, the Spokesman said no back channel diplomacy on Kashmir is going on. Answering a question, he said Pakistan has legitimate interest in ensuring that strategic balance in South Asia is maintained under all circumstances. This is all the more necessary given jingoistic statements emanating from New Delhi about waging of limited war. He said major power have special responsibility in this regard. He said unfortunately discriminatory policies being pursued by some major powers are indeed contributing negatively. He said ambitious nuclear programme of India is a threat to peace and stability in South Asia. The spokesman said Pakistan cannot be oblivious to this serious developments and will take every necessary steps to protect its legitimate interest. He said there will be no compromise on maintaining credible nuclear deterrence. To a question about India’s involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan, the Spokesman said Pakistan is proceeding in the matter appropriately in the best interest of the country. Replying to a question, Abdul Basit said Pakistan’s security forces are fully capable to take actions against militants and there is no need of any assistance in this regard. To another question about United States new policy on Afghanistan, the spokesman said there are discussions on it through diplomatic channels. He said they are expecting some senior level visits next week from the US and the matter will definitely be on top of the agenda. Answering a question about withdrawal of Indian military from Indian Occupied Kashmir, he said it is one of the demands of the Hurriyet leaders. To a question, the spokesman confirmed the arrests of some foreigners from Sargodha however, he refused to give their numbers or identity. He said some of them are of Pakistani origin and some of other descent. He said there is no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the United States. The Foreign Office spokesman said that according to our information and intelligence Al-Qaeda leadership is not in Pakistan. He said the US leadership has lately accepted that we do not know about the whereabout of Al-Qaeda leadership. The spokesman congratulated President Obama on becoming nobel laureate and expressed the hope that during his tenure as President, the US will engage more extensively and intensively in resolving the issues which threaten peace and stability in South Asia and Middle East.