Pakistan preparing to take up drone attacks at UN
13 September, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said preparations are underway to raise the issue of drone attacks at the United Nations in accordance with the recommendation of the resolution adopted in the All-Parties Conference hosted by the government.
Speaking at the weekly briefing on Thursday Foreign Office Spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said necessary directives have been issued to the country's missions in New York and Geneva in this regard. The spokesman rejected having signed any agreement with the United States on drone attacks. He said Pakistan has a clear policy on drone attacks that these are violation of its territorial sovereignty and integrity. He said drone attacks are counterproductive.
The spokesman said the drone attacks are violation of international laws, and Pakistan has been raising its concerns with United States at all levels in this regard. He said the international community has also supported Pakistan's stance on drone attacks. Replying to a question on the decision to release Mullah Baradar the spokesman said Pakistan has decided in principle to release the prominent Afghan Taliban leader at an appropriate time so that he could participate in the reconciliation process.
Regarding any pressure to release Afghan prisoners, the spokesman said they are being released to help Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. Chaudhry said so far Pakistan has released 33 Taliban prisoners and announced the release of Mullah Baradar. He, however, said he did not have any knowledge about the total Afghan detainees in Pakistan. He said the main purpose is to allow these elements to join the mainstream reconciliation process. "Pakistan believes that the Afghan reconciliation process will succeed only if all stakeholders are able to participate in it," he said.
The FO spokesman said the Pakistani government, the authorities concerned in Afghanistan and the United States are in touch with one another on the release of Taliban prisoners. Responding to a question, he said Pakistan will not interfere in internal affairs of Afghanistan and extend all-out support and assistance for the success of reconciliation process there. He said, "We support a political solution that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led and ready to extend full support for it".
Replying to a question on Pakistan-India relations, Chaudhry said Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz will hold talks with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Kyrgyzstan tomorrow (Friday) on the sideline of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. He said both the leaders will discuss bilateral relations. About the proposed meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New York later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, the spokesman said both the governments are in touch to work out the dates for this meeting.
He said this meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to the two sides to discuss matters of mutual interests. The spokesman said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also undertaking a three-day visit to Turkey from Monday. Giving details, he said during his stay, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will hold talks with the Turkish leadership on promoting relations in diverse fields, including economy, trade, energy and investment. The spokesman, however, said the news regarding discussion by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Turkish leadership on the issue of shifting Taliban office from Doha to Turkey are baseless and speculative.
Expressing concern over the loss of innocent lives in Syria, the spokesman said Pakistan demands an all-inclusive political dialogue to find solution to the matter. He said any action against Syria should be in accordance with the UN charter and principles. The spokesman said Pakistan is also distressed over the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and maintained that these weapons should not be used by any party under any circumstances.