Friday, 26 December 2014

ISIS Governor in Mosul Killed

Edited By: KANWAL ABIDI    
                   *Journalist & Political Analyst
IRAQ: The latest ISIS-appointed governor of Mosul was killed in coalition airstrikes on Thursday, according to Iraqi police.
Hassan Saeed Al-Jabouri, also known as Abu Taluut, was killed 18 miles south of Mosul in the village of Qayyara, according to Maj. Gen. Watheq Al-Hamdani, a senior regional Iraqi police commander who is leading the government's efforts to retake Mosul from ISIS.
Jabouri is the second ISIS-appointed governor of Mosul killed by airstrikes and had been in office for less than 25 days.
Earlier this month, U.S. airstrikes killed one of his predecessors, Radwan Taleb Al-Hamdouni, according to U.S. security officials.
Mosul is a key stronghold for ISIS fighters and was taken from Iraqi forces earlier this year. The Pentagon said that it has a strategy to retake the city beginning in January.
Meanwhile, more than 100 people were injured or killed in six airstrikes by Syrian forces on the ISIS held city of al-Bab and the town of Qbasin in the northeast of Aleppo, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In the village of Abo Qassayed, 30 ISIS militants were killed Tuesday as Syrian Kurdish forces captured that town held by ISIS, according to the observatory.
ISIS captured a Jordanian fighter pilot Wednesday after his plane crashed over Raqqa.
"Evidence clearly indicates" that the terrorist group "did not down the aircraft," U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
Turkey warming up to Iraq
Relations between Iraq and Turkey are improving because of the new government in Baghdad, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday.
"Now that the coldness between Turkey and Iraq is over, we will accelerate our relations in every possible way," he said in a televised interview.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that Iraq and Turkey share common economic and security goals, according to Anadolu Agency, Turkey's government news agency. Iraq wants to reach global oil market's through Turkey, Al-Abadi said.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu promised that Turkey will not allow any foreign fighter access to Syria, whether they be Syrian opposition or ISIS fighters, according to Anadolu Agency.
...........................................The End !!!
Editor's Note:  
It shall NOT End ... as ISIS has begun:
ISIS is gaining its strength globally and if its roots of extremism are not addressed, it shall prove to be futile to the world.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Warning By 9/11 Mastermind

Man Who Interrogated 9/11 Mastermind Shared a Dire Warning with Megyn Kelly

Dr. James Mitchell, one of the men who interrogated 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” to discuss the controversial report on the CIA’s enhanced interrogation methods.

Here is how Mitchell described KSM:
Mitchell described Sheikh Mohammed in initial interrogations as “immensely arrogant” and “disdainful.”
“He had a propensity at that particular point to be confrontational without being physical,” Mitchell said.

But the biggest take-away from Mitchell’s interview is a chilling discussion of how terrorists know very well how liberals in politics and in the media will never stand for interrogation methods… And that’s why the terrorists think they will win:
Mitchell alleged that no one from the Senate committee has ever asked him a single thing about the interrogations.

“Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has the opportunity to address the charges against him, but I don’t,” he said.

What Mitchell felt:
Mitchell told Kelly that he feels horrible because this report puts Americans at risk.

“It shows al Qaeda and the al Qaeda 2.0 folks, ISIL, that we’re divided and that we’re easy targets, that we don’t have the will to defeat them because that’s what they know. 

In fact, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told me personally, ‘Your country will turn on you, the liberal media will turn on you, the people will grow tired of this, they will turn on you, and when they do, you are going to be abandoned.’”

 News Edited By: KANWAL ABIDI    
                            Journalist & Political Analyst

Infomation Shared Via Fox news (US)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Peshawar School Tragedy

Taliban Attacks Students in Pakistan

Tragedy Begins:     
A group of Taliban gunmen attacked a school in Northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning, 16th Dec, which resulted in the killing of atleast 145 people, most of the students were under the age of 15. More than 180 others were injured. Police say the siege, which lasted about eight hours, is now over, with all of the terrorists dead. Other officials said four of the attackers blew themselves up in suicide attacks, though there were as many as 9 attackers. 

The Army Public School is a military-run primary school for the children of army members in Peshawar, in the northern part of the country, near the border with Afghanistan. 

Claim of the Attack: 
Pakistani Taliban sources claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for ongoing government offensive - Zarb e Azb; against them in the region of North Waziristan. 

Witnesses Account:
Witnesses says as many as six men scaled the fence of the school and began opening fire on students. Many students were reportedly killed by a suicide bomb in the school courtyard. The attackers then went room to room, shooting indiscriminately at children and teachers.

One witness told the BBC, "We ducked under the tables and chairs, but they shot at our heads and legs. The kept firing and coming further inside the room, but we did not move because they shot at anyone who moved."  
(Eds Note: It seemed that the terrorists wanted to take their lives or else make them disabled for their lives)

School Auditorium Account:
The worst of the assault happened in an auditorium, where several classes had been gathered for first-aid training. One student who survived shared with European "Radio Free Europe: journalist that, "It was 10:30 this morning when we were called to an auditorium to get first-aid training by an army colonel. When we walked in, gunshots erupted and [the militants] entered the auditorium. They killed many students —I saw about 40 to 50 students killed in front of me—and they also fired at the colonel."
(Eds Note: It seemed that the terrorists were aware of the fact that the School Auditorium will have lot of school children, so that they can attack them at massive hit, causing maximum loss to precious lives)

According to the BBC World Service, the attack is believed to be an attempt to demoralize and humiliate the military. However, it may have the unintended effect of finally uniting the nation against the groups that have claimed tens of thousands of lives in Pakistan in the last 15 years. Today, both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and opposition leader Imran Khan issued strong statement condemning the attack, insisting the military offensive—which began in June with stated goal of driving the Taliban out of the region—will continue.

PM Nawaz Sharif said today that “This is a decisive moment in the fight against terrorism.The people of Pakistan should unite in this fight. Our resolve will not be weakened by these attacks." This is the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan since 2007, when 140 people were killed in an assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was later killed by another bomber.

WORLD LEADERS Opinion on the Attack:
World leaders elsewhere have condemned the attack as well. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it "unspeakable brutality." France's Francois Hollande called it "despicable" and the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, says the country "stands in solidarity with the people of Pakistan, and all who fight the menace of terrorism."

In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said, "By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity. We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region."

Turkey has declared a National Mourning Day on 17 the Dec 2014.

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, who received the Nobel Peace Prize last week for her advocacy of education in Pakistan, said "I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters—but we will never be defeated." Her co-winner, India's Kailash Satyarthi, told network NDTV that "I beg the Taliban, take me and leave these children."


---------------> Words are hard to find when concluding incidents of tragedy and being a mother myself, I find it VERY hard to compile information about young children deaths and that too so horrifying and horrendous. It is very easy to condemn the attack and attend to the injured in hospitals - but what we need are concrete steps from government to protect the lives of Pakistanis and to take adequate security measures.

Tomorrow, on 17th Dec, APC , All Parties Conference is scheduled to take place in Islamabad. The ongoing political row between PML N (Ruling Government) and PTI, will take new turns and Imran Khan is said to attend the APC, but the real test lies in making our country free from the terrorists rides. 

The Pakistan political leaders have to think now that their differences are very small and petty - but human life is live. They have to forget that elections were rigged or fixed, time is of essence which demands to "protect the human life constituency" under respect and safety.

Compiled and Edited By:

KANWAL ABIDI  (Online News Editor of 063 News)

 * Journalist / Political Analyst    

Time of the story being filed:    11.45 pm   16.12.2014

This is a developing story and I will continue to update as more information becomes available.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Qatar & Turkey In Support of Hammas

Key panels urge sanctions on Qatar, Turkey over Hamas
Edited By: Kanwal Abidi
                    *** Political Analyst / Journalist
Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee want the Treasury Department to "take all necessary measures" to stop Qatari and Turkish support for Hamas.

Two key House panels are stepping up their rhetoric against Qatar and Turkey and urging that the US Treasury Department take "all necessary measures" against the two countries if they continue to support Hamas.
---- Leaders of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittees on terrorism and the Middle East are gathering signatures on a letter to the Treasury's top sanctions official praising his efforts to date but demanding his "immediate attention" to their request that more be done. The letter is expected to draw strong bipartisan support and has been in the works since the panels held a joint hearing on Hamas financing back in September, a committee source tells Al-Monitor.
The letter in particular slams Qatar for harboring Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and for its $400 million donation for Gaza reconstruction in 2012. The country's then-ruler, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, was the first head of state to visit Gaza since Hamas took over five years earlier in 2007.
"Any entity or nation that continues to back this US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and provide it material and financial support should be sanctioned," states the letter to Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen. "Therefore, as Members of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, we are requesting that Treasury use every tool available to designate all individuals, institutions, entities, charities, front companies, banks and government officials who clearly violate US laws by assisting Hamas and its proxies. We also request specific public updates on Treasury’s discussions with the Qatari government on previously designated, Qatar-based terrorist financiers that the Qataris have yet to act upon."
Turkey is also on lawmakers' blacklist for serving as the headquarters for Saleh al-Arouri, whom lawmakers accuse of heading the group's terrorist operations in the West Bank.
"In August, the media reported that he was behind an allegedly thwarted plot to topple, undermine or replace the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank. Also in August, al-Arouri stated that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens this June," the letter states.
"In addition to Hamas figures that knowingly and openly operate in Turkey, numerous charities, front companies and possibly even banks provide some form of support from Turkey for the terror group. One organization that has been reported to have had direct contact with Hamas is the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) charity that planned the flotilla incident of 2010. We are aware that Treasury has expressed concerns about IHH’s terrorism connections in the past."
The Treasury Department has repeatedly — and publicly — denounced Qatar's support for Hamas, notably in a March 4 speech by Cohen. The department has also sanctioned a number of secondary Qatari and Turkish entities and individuals over the years, notably in a round of Iran sanctions in August.
The letter is being spearheaded by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla, Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Ted Poe, R-Texas and Brad Sherman, D-Calif., the chairmen and top Democrats on the Middle East and terrorism panels. Missing from the list of signers are lawmakers who have expressed concerns about antagonizing potential US allies in the war against Islamic State, notably NATO ally Turkey.

Chief among those critics has been Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., a leading member of the congressional Turkey Caucus. Connolly pointed out during the September hearing that when he co-authored a private letter to then-presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the summer admonishing him for his anti-Israel vitriol, Erdogan ended up using the letter in his successful presidential bid.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Foreign Affairs Press Briefing on 10th OCT 2014

Inline image 1 
Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 10th October 2014

Opening Remarks
In the last briefing there was a question about UN Resolutions and bilateralism between Pakistan and India. One news paper next day had the headline “Bilateral dialogue on Kashmir undermines UN Security Council Resolutions: Foreign Office”

This is just the opposite of what was said. My request to you would be to be careful and scrupulously adhere to what has been said.  

Now the floor is now open for Questions

I would like to have your comment on recent LoC and Working Boundary violations by India and also the reported hacking of Pakistan Peoples Party’s website by Indian hackers. (Syed Musharaf Kazmi, Daily Masawat)

Supplementary Question 1:
Please refer to the Times of India report which quotes the Indian BSF Chief as saying that the only way to bring Pakistan to the negotiating table is intense fire. How do you see this statement?

Also, do you have any update on the UNMOGIP investigations that were taking place on the LoC?(Zarghoon Shah, Geo News)

Supplementary Question 2:
There is a growing sense especially in India that Pakistan is going to insist on UN or third party mediation on the LoC situation. India alleges that Pakistan is indulging in heavy shelling to attract international attention to Kashmir problem. How do you see this? (Waqas, Capital TV)

Supplementary Question 3:
The situation on the LoC is a signal of a much a larger problem. India has been indicating the generation of a debate on article 370 of their own constitution. How do you assess the overall policy of India on Kashmir now that PM Modi has taken over?

Also Pakistan is already in the midst of an operation at its western border. Do you see some changes in our deployment pattern now that the eastern border with India is also volatile? (Wajahat Ali, Channel News Asia)

The last question is not a Foreign Policy question. Perhaps ISPR may be able to respond to your questions about deployment of troops.

On the question of escalation of violations by India on the Line of Control, we issued a statement last week and subsequently, there was also a statement by Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs. Today, the National Security Committee meeting is taking place as we speak and there likely will be a statement on the deliberations in the NSC.

As regards the motives, I don’t think any motives can be ascribed to Pakistan. We are simply responding to a situation that has been created on the line of control and the working boundary. We did not start the violation of the ceasefire, we have not escalated the situation and our response has been strong but measured. You may keep in mind that on the other side of the LoC, there are Kashmiris who are our own brothers and sisters. They are our own people. So, we are exercising great care to avoid civilian casualties to the extent possible.

As regards the involvement of UNMOGIP, you would recall that some days back, the UN observers were taken to the LoC and the Working Boundary to show them the damage and the pattern of fire from the other side. They would have compiled their report and sent it to the UN as per their SOPs. UMMOGIP is a neutral observer. They are here to monitor the situation .So, the best option would be for India to allow them visit the LoC as we facilitate their visit to our side of the Line of Control and working boundary. They can then come up with their own findings and recommendations. That should be acceptable to India if indeed it believes that LoC violations were started by Pakistan.

Zarghoon! I would not like to comment on statements given by different Indian officials. Pakistan is a sovereign country. Pakistan is a strong country. By firing on the LoC or by escalating the situation on the LoC, Pakistan cannot be brought to the negotiating table. In fact, Pakistan has done all it could to promote peace and for resumption of the dialogue process with India. It was India which cancelled the scheduled Foreign Secretary level talks in August this year. This argument, therefore, makes no sense.

Do you think that the unprovoked firing of India along the LOC and Working Boundary can be a reaction to the strong speech made by our Prime Minister in United Nations General Assembly, where he very powerfully raised the issue of Kashmir? 
Secondly, you referred to UNMOGIP and also said that India should allow them but there are on- record statements from Indian leaders that they do not attach any importance to this group. The group has also given their observations and findings on a number of times but India did not honor or comply with these. Your comments please.  (Mateen Haider, Dawn News)

Well, the UNMOGIP observers have a UN mandate. They are present in India as well. They have an office in Delhi. We do not speculate about the reasons why India is doing it.

As regards the Prime Minister’s statement at the UNGA, as he himself said, advocacy of the right of self-determination of people of Kashmir is Pakistan’s historic responsibility and a commitment. That should be understood. I will not guess the reasons.

My first question is about the total loss due to the recent cross border violations. Secondly, is there any possibility that the Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India can meet before the upcoming SAARC Conference, what is the latest on this? (Fayyaz Chaudhery, APP)
Well, on the talks, I have nothing to share.

About the loss, both in terms of human life and damage to the property and livestock, I think more accurate figures would be available with the military channels, the Rangers or the DG ISPR.

There has been escalation in the frequency of drone strikes .What is the reason behind it? (Khawaja Nayyar Iqbal, Kashmir Post)

This question should be addressed to the US Administration. Our position, that we have reiterated a number of times, remains unchanged.

In the past we have seen that whenever any country showed any aggression towards Pakistan, its Ambassador was called and protest was officially lodged but this time we have not seen that. What is the reason behind it?    
Secondly, why Pakistan delayed so much its response to these cross border violations? (Fida Hussain, Radio News Channel FM 99
Our reaction was timely. We issued a statement and in that statement we clearly stated that we have lodged a protest with India through diplomatic channels. Please visit our website.

Few days ago some Iranian Security personnel were killed by terrorists near Pakistan border. Iranian police Chief has said that terrorists have safe heavens on Pakistani soil. So, what practical measures Pakistan has taken so far to stop these terrorist attacks and to make the border more secure? (Abdul Reza Manafi, IRNA)

The border between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, because of the circumstances and the events in the region, has seen undesirable activities. This is something on which we need to work together. It is in the interest of both countries to share intelligence. We have several mechanisms like the border management committee which meets quiet frequently or as and when required. These issues of better border management should be taken to that committee. They would not be resolved through public statements.
I do not share the view that the miscreants who create problems inside Iran have safe havens inside Pakistan. Your question in itself contains the response- that the event you cited took place near Pakistan border but inside Iran.

Now the cease fire violation by India is not only taking place on LOC but also on the International border. Pakistani citizens have been killed. Do we still go by the routine process through UNMOGIP or are we going to take further steps. We have international mechanisms if the situation is not solved. Are we going to take this matter to the international forums? (Tariq Mehmood, News One TV)

The matter of escalation and violations of ceasefire by India was taken up by our Permanent Representative to the UN in New York during the General Assembly debate. Naturally, the international community is also watching. There have been statements expressing concern and calling for the need of resumption of dialogue to resolve the disputes between Pakistan and India.

During the last week there have been at least six drone strikes in which 28 people have been martyred. Similarly, there have been 17 casualties from the cross border violation from India along the LOC and Working Boundary. While Foreign office has condemned these cross border violations and has called the Indian High Commissioner but our Prime Minister did not raise the issue of drone strikes in UN General Assembly. Should it be considered that Foreign Office has made a compromise on the casualties from drone strikes and it condemns only the killing of people from Indian firing? (Rana Ibrar, INP)

We repeatedly, from this forum and at every forum, have explained our position. We condemn drone strikes for violation of our territorial integrity and collateral damage. We have done detailed briefings about how we are proceeding on this issue and how far we have succeeded in building international public opinion and a legal body of opinion on this issue.  

Compiled and Edited by:

*Politcal Analyst 
*Pakistan / GCC Journalist 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Press Briefing of Ministry of Foreign Affairs - 2nd OCT' 14

Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 2nd October 2014

Spokesperson: Ms Tasneem Aslam

Opening Remarks
Release of Mr. Faizullah Khan:
The Ministry extends its warm felicitations to ARY’s Mr. Faizullah Khan, his family, and the journalist fraternity over his release and safe return to Pakistan. As you are aware, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our Missions in Kabul and Jalalabad had been consistently pursuing Mr. Faizullah’s release ever since his arrest in Afghanistan was brought to our knowledge. The Consul General in Jalalabad had consular meetings with him. Our Missions facilitated his contact with his family and ensure his welfare while in detention. They also hired a lawyer to provide him legal assistance. The Jalalabad Consulate helped lodge an appeal against the verdict of the lower court.

Meanwhile, our efforts continued at multiple levels to secure his earliest possible release. All large number of people, institutions and organization in Pakistan made their valuable endeavors. We are grateful for all these efforts and also thank everyone in Afghanistan who contributed to Mr. Faizullah’s release. It is highly gratifying that he has re-joined his family and would be celebrating Eid-ul-Azha with his loved ones.

 The floor is now open for Questions

There have been two important developments in Afghanistan: peaceful transition and the land mark BSA. Do you expect any high level visits between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the near future? Also, we would like to have your comments on the BSA and its implications for Pakistan? (Mateen Haider, Dawn News)

You know, we welcomed the peaceful conclusion of elections and transition in Afghanistan. We have congratulated the Afghan leadership over the power-sharing agreement. Our hope and expectation is that this peaceful political transition will help Afghanistan to move towards greater stability. For us, Afghanistan’s stability and prosperity are very important. The presence of our President at the oath taking ceremony is a testimony to the good wishes that we hold for the brotherly people of Afghanistan and the importance we attach to our relationship with that country.

As regards BSA, Afghanistan is a sovereign country. It is their right to conclude agreements with any country. We, on our part, wish Afghanistan the best and we will continue to facilitate all efforts, to the extent possible, for creating stability, peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. 

There are media reports that some world bodies are considering to quarantine Pakistan on account of the increased incidence of polio cases in Pakistan. Can you comment? (Zarghoon Shah, Geo News)

Unfortunately this very serious health problem –poliovirus- still exists in Pakistan. You may like to ask the Ministry of National Health Services and Prime Minister’s focal person on Polio about what exactly is being done to contain and eradicate Polio virus from Pakistan. You know that in May this year, WHO’s IHR recommended some travel measures for Pakistan. These were mandatory measures for all people traveling from Pakistan and also for those coming to Pakistan and staying for more than two weeks.

For the latest situation, again I would refer you to the Ministry of National Health Services.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presented Pakistan’s position on the decades old dispute of Jammu and Kashmir in a very forceful manner in UNGA. He alluded to the UN Security Council Resolutions and urged for their implementation in letter and spirit. In 2004 and after, there were discussions on some out of the box solutions for the Kashmir dispute. Since that period, Pakistan has reference to Security Council resolutions. Can we conclude that the Prime Minister’s recent speech is a departure from the position Pakistan has been taking since around a decade? (Syed Mohsin Raza, Saach TV)

I do not agree with your analysis. Pakistan’s legal and political position on Jammu and Kashmir dispute is based on the UN Security Council resolutions - 20 in all; that Jammu and Kashmir is a dispute that needs to be resolved according to the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The UN Security Council resolutions gave Kashmiris the right to decide their future, through a plebiscite, through the exercise of their right of self-determination. Those resolutions are valid today as they were valid when they were adopted. That is our legal position.

This would be a misunderstanding that bilateral negotiations could somehow undermine the UN Security Council resolutions. That is legally and politically incorrect. The Simla agreement starts with a reference to the UN Charter. Also, no bilateral agreement can override the UN Security Council resolutions. The Prime Minister articulated in very clear terms Pakistan’s position, based on the UN Security Council resolutions, the human rights situation in IOK and the right of Kashmiris to self-determination. The Prime Minister also referred in his speech to the Simla agreement and the Lahore declaration as bilateral efforts to make progress.

There should be no misunderstanding that discussing Jammu and Kashmir dispute bilaterally between Pakistan and India somehow undermines the UN Security Council resolution
Since the cancellation of Pak-India talks there have been indications coming from India that they are now willing to reinstate the talks. These days the Indian media is abuzz with the reports that the Indian Prime Minister will meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit and the Foreign Secretary level talks will be held before that. Do we have any concrete intimation of any of these proposed meetings? (Shaukat Piracha, Aaj TV)

Supplementary Question:
Advisor Sartaj Aziz publically admitted that the timing of Pakistan’s High Commissioner’s meeting with the Kashmiri leaders was perhaps not correct and that it could have been avoided at that time. The Indian media now says that after this public admission, the way for FS level talks has been paved. Your comments? (Waqas Rafique, Capital TV)

Shaukat, I don’t have anything specific on the FS level talks or the meeting between the Prime Ministers. Pakistan and India are neighbors. Ultimately, we have to talk with each other. Sooner or later, we will have to resume the dialogue process.

As regards the supplementary question, we have already made our position clear on the matter. Our position is well known. Most recently, it was explained by the Prime Minister during his address at the UNGA. The Advisor was responding to a question and the thrust of what he said was that we will continue to meet the Kashmiri leadership whenever we consider it necessary. By way of explanation, he said that whenever Pakistan and India hold talks on substantive mattes related to Jammu and Kashmir; we always hold talks with the Kashmiri leaders to take their views on board.

The Chairman of Senate Standing Committee on Defense, Mr. Mushahid Hussain has called for the conversion of Siachin into a peace park and its de-militarization. Is it a workable plan? If yes, how will you incorporate it in our foreign policy? (Haroon Baloch, Radio Pakistan)

The de-militarization of Siachin and making it a peace park has been under discussion in the past as well. India was however, not willing to withdraw troops without authentication of actual position that they held. This was legally not possible.

Few months back Russian Ambassador in an informal interaction with media told that Pakistan and Russia were in contact for the provision of MI-16 military helicopters from Russia to Pakistan and the negotiations were taking place in this regard. I just wanted to have the update on it. (Sikandar  Shaheen, Daily times)

Yes, if I recall correctly, this deal was approved.  You may like to confirm it from ISPR. I don’t have the details.

Indian Prime Minister in his address to UN General Assembly referred to Pakistan in the context of terrorism. On the contrary, he also said that they were willing to negotiate and to extend ties with Pakistan. Does Pakistan think that this Indian policy is based on double standards and is causing the Kashmir issue to linger? (Khawaja Nayyar Iqbal, Kashmir Post)


The Indian Prime Minister did not mention Pakistan; he talked about terrorism which is an international problem. Pakistan itself has suffered because of terrorism. We have been a very active partner of the international community in efforts to counter terrorism. We are taking very robust action against terrorism and we expect that all countries should do the same on their soil. There is no disputing the fact that terrorism needs to be eliminated.    

My question is regarding the newly elected Afghan Government. I have not heard of any meeting between the leadership of Pakistan and Afghanistan as yet. Do we have any such plans in the future? (Fida Hussain, Radio FM 99)

As I already said, President of Pakistan attended the inaugural ceremony. He met the new Afghan leadership. Pakistan and Afghanistan have maintained regular contacts at the leadership level.  There have been contacts with the new President and Chief executive and we intend to maintain these contacts and work together.  

America has declared three Pakistanis as terrorists and has also slapped sanctions against them. What is the stance of Pakistan on it? Is Pakistan also going to impose sanctions on them? (Shahid Ajmal, South Asian News Agency)

In Pakistan, the process of proscribing entities involved in violence took place before the United National Security Council started the process of listing such entities. The listing by the UN becomes an international obligation, not only for Pakistan but for every country to list such individuals and entities and freeze their assets. As regards listing by US, it is their domestic action. It entails no responsibility for us.  

According to media reports, the joint statement released after Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Obama calls for joint action against militant groups operating in Pakistan. What would you say on this?  (Tariq Qayum, Aljazeera TV)

Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Pakistan is a victim of terrorism. More than 55 thousand Pakistanis lost their lives due to terrorism. In economic terms, our losses are almost 103 billion dollars. Pakistan has been a active partner of the international community in counter terrorism. At present, our armed forces are conducting a very comprehensive and decisive operation against terrorists. We believe, it is the responsibility of all countries to take action against terrorism on their own soil.

What steps are we taking to stop the movement of terrorists between Afghanistan and Pakistan? Do you think that the signing of the BSA will provide the US forces a possibility to continue the drone strikes inside Pakistan? (Abbas Khan, Russian TV)

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a very long border. While we are in the midst of a decisive operation against the militants, which is proceeding very successfully, it is essential that there is action from the other side as well. We need better border management. We have given a number of proposals to Afghanistan and we hope to proceed further on it.

As regards the drone strikes, the connection is speculative. We have very clear position on drones and there is an international public opinion as well. The international legal community’s opinion and the human rights bodies’ views are also available on the legal position of drone strikes. You may like to see the record of our last week’s press briefing on this question.


*Political Analyst & Journalist