Pak to lodge protest if it finds Indo-US defence agreement objectionable: FM
04 July, 2005
LAHORE, July 04 (Online): Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri has made it clear that Pakistan will not raise unnecessary protest over the matter of defence agreement between India and US, however Islamabad could loge a protest it has some reservations after looking into the fine print of the agreement.
Addressing a crowded press briefing at State Guest House here on Sunday, the foreign minister said we will not raise the issue like India did when US announced to gave us F-16s and other defense equipment because we are confident of our defense, which is impregnable and as far as matter of Indo-US defense pact is concerned it is matter of two sovereign nations.
A confident Mr Kasuri said Pakistan will never compromise on its defense capabilities.
He said there is no doubt in the fact that India and Pakistan are recognized nuclear powers of the region and a nuclear war in region is not in favor of any nation and if this defense pact between US and India will destabilize strategic balance in the region then Pakistan will raise the matter with US. He added if a new Missile Defense System comes into the region then Pakistan too will have to get similar kind of equipment to boost its defense capabilities.
Responding to a question about Indo-Pak composite dialogue process Mr Kasuri, said no body could have even imagined one and half year ago that Hurriyat leaders will visit Pakistan without any visa restrictions and Indian Opposition leader L K Advani and Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar will visit Islamabad.
This is a remarkable development in bilateral relations between the two countries and it has only been possible because of the composite dialogue process, he held.
When asked about the passport to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his spouse Kalsoom Nawaz, foreign minister said this matter falls into the jurisdiction of Interior Ministry. We have nothing to
Responding to another query, he said the new faces in Iranian government is internal matter of Iran and is an echo of voice of Iranian people. We are two brotherly nations and who ever will be elected in Iran will be our brother.
"As far as Iran's nuclear enrichment capabilities are concerned we want it to be resolved peacefully and we support the efforts made by United Kingdom, France and other European nations. We also support Iran's rights and duties under Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) we do not want to face another Afghanistan like situation once more," he underlined.
Responding to two different questions about Pak-China and Pak-US relations, Mr Kasuri said Pakistan is the only nation in the world that has friendly relations with both China and US. "We want these relations to further grow in stature," he remarked.
On a question about 'Sana Declaration', he said OIC member states fully supported Pakistan's stance on issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the Foreign Minister conference new reforms in UN structure were also emphasized where all member states agreed to the point that every nation should work for introducing a new reformed structure of UN.
He said OIC wants five seats for Asia and six for Africa in United Nations Security Council. We are also considering a seat for Pakistan, India and Bangladesh in security council on their respective turn and a nation could be reelected following its good work for regional peace and stability, he added.
In this regard African nations are meeting in Libya on Sunday and we are expecting more breakthrough in this regard.
Responding to query about terrorism charges leveled by Afghanistan, foreign minister said Pakistan has nothing to do with, the main reason for unrest in Afghanistan is upcoming parliamentary elections in the country.
"We have good friendly and brotherly relations with Afghanistan and the present unrest in the country is an attempt of Taliban, drug and war lords who do not want upcoming Afghan parliamentary elections to be successful," he remarked.
Pakistan, he said has deployed 70000 troops at its Western border to control the situation and as far as other matters of concerned US, Pakistan and Afghanistan tripartite commission resolves them.
Responding to another query about OIC observer status given to Russia, Mr Kasuri said many Arab and Islamic nations are in its favor. The observer status to Russian highlights the importance of OIC.