FO briefing Pak, India Sir Creek, narco talks on May 14 & 24

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Pakistan has once again told the United States to respect its sovereignty pointing out that the drone strikes are illegal, counter pro-ductive and violative of our country’s integrity and sovereignty. Replying questions during weekly briefing in Islamabad Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesman Moazzam Ahmed Khan said we have repeatedly made it clear to the United States that these attacks are unacceptable. He said Islamabad regards the drone strikes as illegal, counterproductive and violative of our integrity and sovereignty. He said it is in our mutual inter-est that the United States respect the recommen-dations of Pakistan’s parliament. He said Pakistan has made it clear that future contours of relationship with the United States will be based on the recommendations made by the Parliament.

Khan said no decision has yet been taken on the restoration of NATO supply line. He said we are currently in the process of finalizing the work plan for effective implementation of the parlia-mentary recommendations. He said we want to have normal relations with Washington but as-sured that all decisions will be made in accor-dance with the parliamentary recommendations.

The spokesman maintained that Pakistan-US relations are important one and there is a desire on both the sides to come up with mutually ac-ceptable resolution of all the issues. He said both the sides are also engaged at several levels for the resolution of all issues. US Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman re-cently visited Islamabad and all issues were dis-cussed with him. During interaction, both the sides shared their concerns and perspectives on different issues.

Recounting Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism, the spokesman said nobody should have any doubt about Pakistan’s unwaver-ing resolve and determination to fight out the menace. He said Pakistan is pursuing a well thought out anti terrorism policy and expects that the partners will also show more understanding and patience in their conduct.

When asked about Chicago Summit, the spokesman said Pakistan has not yet taken any decision to attend the moot on Afghanistan .

To a question about the recent US-Afghanistan strategic relationship agreement, Moazzam Ahmad Khan said it is for Afgahnistan to decide about its relations with the outside world. He however said Pakistan supports any initiative aimed at achieving peace, stability and prosperity of Afghanistan.

About granting of Most Favored Nation status to India, the spokesman said the process for normalization of trade relations with the neighboring country is likely to be completed by the end of this year. It, is, however, subject to the removal of non trade barriers by the Indian gov-ernment as well.

About the on going dialogue process, the spokesman said Pakistan wants resolution of all the issues with India in a result oriented manner. He said Siachen is part of the dialogue process and is being discussed at the defense secretary level. “We are discussing the issue with a sense of purpose and urgency. Dates are being finalized for talks on the Siachen issue”.

The spokesman reminded that President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmo-han Singh had had a constructive meeting in New Delhi in which they discussed all the issues. Both the leaders underlined the importance of finding pragmatic and practical solution of all the issues including Sir Creek, Siachen and Jammu and Kashmir.

He said three days talks between Pakistan and India on Sir Creek issue will begin on the 14th of this month. He said the interior secretary level talks on anti terrorism and narcotics will begin on 24th of this month.

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