ISLAMABAD, Jan 3 (APP):Pakistan on Thursday, strongly condemning the Indian violations of sending spy drones across the Line of Control, said any misadventure by India would be responded in a befitting manner.
“Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be mistaken for weakness,” Foreign Office Spokesman
Muhammad Faisal said here at a weekly press briefing, held at the Foreign Office.
The Pakistan Army recently shot down two Indian spy quad-copters in the Poonch sector of Azad
Kashmir, which was being used by the Indian military for intelligence gathering about the Pakistani
posts through aerial photography and for targeting selection for cross-LoC firing.
The Spokesman said, “Our forces remain vigilant and have responded effectively to these threats.
Any misadventure by India would be responded in a befitting manner.”
He categorically rejected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statement about carrying out
surgical strike within Pakistan back in 2016, and said “no surgical strike took place at the first and the
fact was seconded by the Indian media as well”.
Prime Minister Modi in an interview with an Indian newspaper had said that ‘one surgical strike would not
make Pakistan fall in line’.
Muhammad Faisal termed reports of 23 missing passports of Indian Sikh pilgrims misplaced by the Pakistan
High Commission in New Delhi as ‘baseless and speculative’. He said the High Commission smoothly handled
several thousand passports with over 3,800 visas issued for the 549th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak
In response to U.S President Donald Trump’s remarks that ‘he looked forward to meeting Pakistan’s new
leadership, the Spokesman said, “We also look forward to positive engagement with the United States at
the leadership level.”
However, he added that President Trump’s remarks were “indeed a departure from his tweet of
January 1, 2018”. Trump on the first day of 2018 had posted a tweet, saying that Pakistan’s leaders
hadn’t done enough to help the U.S. thwart militants in the region.
To a question on Pakistan’s direct role in facilitating the next round of Afghan reconciliation process,
with a possibility to be held in Saudi Arabia or Qatar, the Spokesman said Pakistan would continue
its outreach to regional countries and important international partners for mutually beneficial cooperation
and to advance the peace process.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would also undertake an official visit to Qatar this January on
mutually agreed dates between the two governments.
About reports of a militant commander, involved in terrorist attack against Pakistan, was residing in
an Afghan city, he said “it was important that Afghanistan does not let any country, terrorist group
or individual use its territory against Pakistan”.
When asked about possible fallout of the U.S pullout from Afghanistan, he said Pakistan being the
immediate neighbour, would support any development leading to peace and stability of Afghanistan
and the region.
“It is Pakistan’s genuine desire that peace returns to Afghanistan allowing the return of Afghan refugees
and an era of prosperity and normalcy begins in the region,” he said.
When attention was drawn to Federal Investigation Agency’s recently released rules and regulations
for citizens of seven countries including Israel for conditional entry into Pakistan, the Spokesman
said, “Pakistan does not recognizes Israel”.
He denied to comment and said the question pertained to the Ministry of Interior.
On Turkey taking over the Fetullah Gullen’s FETO-linked schools in Pakistan, he said the decision was in implementation of the verdict of Supreme Court. The top court had ordered the government to declare
FETO a terror group.
The Spokesman rejected a news item of the New York Times that said that Pakistan had secretly sent
1,000 army troops to Yemen.
To a question about breach of construction rules by missions inside the Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad,
he said so far Capital Development Authority (CDA) had not brought any such violation to the notice of
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On update on cases related to the employees of Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Spokesman said a special
fact-finding officer was sent to mission in Bulgaria to probe the embezzlement, to which the accountant
concerned accepted the responsibility. On his return, the case would be referred to the National
Accountability Bureau, he added.
He said the case regarding the High Commission in South Africa was sub-judice and his travel to Pakistan
was in line with the relevant rules. He said misinformation was circulated about Ambassador Leena
Moazzam and after an inquiry that exonerated her, she was sent to Belarus by the previous government.
About the case of Ambassador to Rome, he said inquiry was undertaken by Ministry of Commerce and MoFA and the report was shared with the Ombudsperson. Besides, the Deputy Head of Mission in Singapore has been recalled and the action is being taken in this regard, he added.