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Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 03 November 2016

Opening Remarks

Bismillah IrRehman NirRahim Assalaam Alaikum

Last few months have been very painful as Indian occupation forces have continued killing defenceless Kashmiris, continuously blinding Kashmiri youth including minors and constantly committing crimes against humanity for 4 months now. They are desperate to hide their crimes against humanity from the international community’s scrutiny. In desperation, they have turned their guns on innocent civilians across LoC in AJK and across WB in Pakistani territory. Indian unprovoked firing has taken a huge toll on innocent civilians. We condemn India’s continued atrocities in IoK and unprovoked ceasefire violations that killed and injured civilians. India uses allegations of infiltrations to maliciously portray the indigenous Kashmiri movement for self-determination as terrorism. Indian false claims of infiltration stood exposed when unnamed and unmarked ‘Mass Graves] were discovered in 2009 and when the gruesome incident of Machil ‘Fake Encounter’ in 2010 revealed the truth. Details of Mass Graves case can be seen in the Int’l People’s Tribunal Report of Nov. 2009.

India has also violated the diplomatic norms and code of conduct of maintaining relations between two sovereign states. Whereas, Pakistan has pursued a policy of restraint, patience and sobriety which has been appreciated world over. A number of countries have expreseds their appreciation of this policy. India violated diplomatic norms and Vienna Convention when our diplomatic staff was arrested and tortured until our High Commission intervened. All along their security agencies, who keep surveillance on each one and everyone’s movement round the clock, knew that Mr. Mahmood Akhter was a High Commission’s official but they chose to violate Vienna convention. They deliberately released the names of six other diplomats and diplomatic staff falsely accusing them, which endangered their families’ lives and that of their own. They were unable to perform their diplomatic duties while their families were harassed. Consequently, we had to recall them for their safety. These highly regrettable acts were also part of their desperation to divert World’s attention from atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

As you are aware that a number of Indian diplomats and staff belonging to the Indian intelligence agencies RAW and IB have been found involved in coordinating terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan under the garb of diplomatic assignments. Their names and designations are: RAW’s operatives are (1) Mr. Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, Commercial Counsellor, RAW’s station chief; (2) Mr. Anurag Singh 1st Secy Commercial; (3) Mr. Amerdeep Singh Bhatti Attache Visa; (4) Dharmendra Sodhi, Staff Member; (5) Mr. Vijay Kumar Verma, Staff; and (6) Mr. Madhavan Nanda Kumar Staff.

Indian IB’s operatives are: (1) Mr. Balbir Singh, 1st Secy Press & Info. IB Station Chief; and (2) Mr. Jayabalan Senthil, Asstt Personnel Welfare Officer.

Mr. Surjeet Singh who was declared PNG a few days back was also an IB operative working under Mr. Balbir Singh. Surjeet was using a fake identity as Abdul Hafeez pretending to be a telecom company Warid’s employee.

We are disappointed that India has not only been found involved in promoting terrorist activities and terror financing as was disclosed by Kulbhushan Yadav and further confirmed by the statements at the highest political level on 15 August and earlier during visit to Dhaka, but India has also been using its diplomatic mission for its nefarious designs.

The activities of these operatives of RAW and IB included:

  • Espionage, subversion and supporting of terrorist activities in Balochistan and Sindh, esp Karachi, sabotage CPEC, and fuel instability in the two provinces. Also create unrest in GB.
  • In the garb of commercial activities expand network of their operatives and agents.
  • Leverage their position as diplomats for ingress into influential circles for gathering inside information.
  • Damage Pakistan-Afghanistan relations with a variety of activities.
  • Infiltrate Indian agents into social, media and political circles to propaganda purposes and activities detrimental to Pakistan’s interests.
  • Fabricate evidences to portray Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
  • Handle factions of TTP, instigate religious minorities, fuel sectarianism and malign Pakistan with propaganda on human rights issues.
  • Activities in AJK detrimental to the Kashmir cause and misled Int’l Community about indigenous movement for self determination in IOK.

    For numerous other news and important developments, please follow MoFA’s twitter.

    Now the Floor is open for Questions

    Question

    Pakistani officials at Indian High Commission are alleged to have been involved in espionage activities in India, and one of them was even arrested against diplomatic norms. On the other hand, Indian RAW and IB officers have been exposed in Pakistan. What is Foreign Office doing about it? Are we going to declare them persona non grata (PNG), and what further course of action are we going to take?

    Secondly, you have mentioned the ceasefire violations. We have seen that it has been happening from last few weeks. As the situation across the LoC and WB heating up for quite some time now, is it heading towards a war like situation between Pakistan and India? (Essa Naqvi – Dunya News)

    Answer

    As to your first question, this is a grievous development that goes against the accepted norms of conducting diplomatic relations. This also confirms our stance regarding the involvement of India’s state agencies in subversive activities in Pakistan for the purpose of destabilizing the country. This serious and most deplorable development is under constant review by the relevant authorities, who will determine the next course of action.

    As to your second question, Pakistan condemns the continued unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian forces on the LoC and the Working Boundary, resulting in the loss of innocent precious lives and injuries to many. Villages and civilian populated areas have been targeted, in complete violation of 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and International Law. India is deliberately using this tactic to divert the attention from the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces in the Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan Armed Forces are capable of responding to the Indian CFVs (Cease Fire Violations) at LoC and the Working Boundary. UNMOGIP has the mandate, in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions, to monitor the situation on the LoC. UNMOGIP representatives in Pakistan have visited areas which are affected by the Indian firing. Regrettably, India remains in constant violation of UNSC Resolutions and UN Charter. It extends no cooperation to UNMOGIP. International Community must take note and hold India accountable for its crimes in Kashmir.

    Question

    The escalation in relations between the two countries is constantly rising. With Indian announcement to seal borders with Pakistan, continued genocide of Kashmiris infuriating, and Indian attempt to create space for war under its cold start doctrine, would it lead to complete breakdown of relations? And how can this dangerous trend be reversed? (Shaukat Paracha – Aaj TV)

    Answer

    This present crisis is India’s doing. Pakistan has always pursued a policy of maximum restraint and patience and made many gestures towards peaceful relations with India, but India remains intransigent and arrogant. Indian atrocities in IOK are absolutely not acceptable and India must stop bloodshed immediately. Our repeated offers of talks remain un-responded. We remain open to a result-oriented and sustainable dialogue.

    Question

    In such a time of high tension between India and Pakistan, Mr. Sartaj Aziz has a plan to visit Amritsar for the upcoming Heart of Asia Conference. Don’t you think that in this time of high alert between the two countries, it will jeopardize the security of our Pakistani delegation?

    Secondly, though it relates to Ministry of Interior, I just want to know whether Afghanistan has contacted Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the release or any type of assistance in Sharbat Gula’s case. (Muddasir Hussain – Khyber News)

    Answer

    As to your second question, you know that there has been a court ruling about this case. Therefore, we cannot comment on the court’s decision. But let me add that we have dealt with this issue keeping well in mind the humanitarian grounds of the case. Ms. Gula has been receiving adequate hospital treatment. She violated the law of the land. As we know that laws of the land are to be respected by all, be it the country’s citizens or the foreigners living in that country. This holds good in respect of every country. Let me reiterate that there has been no cruel action taken against her. The rightful legal course has been pursued in this case, and you will see the outcome shortly. We have extended full cooperation to the Afghan Embassy.

    As to your first question, I have replied to it in my previous briefing too. I remember Adviser Sartaj Aziz’s press statement at the time, and am aware that the situation between the two countries has not become variably different since his statement. Pakistan remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan feels that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in its own interest and also in the larger interest of the region. It is in this spirit that Pakistan supports all the initiatives which are aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

    Question

    When diplomats are sent by different countries, there is clearance from several agencies and then they are allowed to join. In this case, as you mentioned that one of them was station chief of IB and the other was of RAW, I want to ask whether we had any prior information about them? (Tariq Siyal – Daily Times)

    Answer

    Whenever a country approaches for the accreditation of a diplomat, it goes through various departments for the checking of track record and then the clearance is given. What you’re talking about has come to the fore after noting their performance and activities during their stay and necessary surveillance.

    Question

    My question is regarding the consular access to Kulbushan Yadav. Times of India reported that India has sent 6 notes to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry for consular access to Kulbhusan Yadav. Have the authorities made a firm decision on whether or not to give consular access to Kulbhusan Yadav? (Tariq Mahmood – SAMAA TV)

    Answer

    The case of Kulbushan Yadev is currently being investigated and the decision about consular access would be taken when appropriate.

    Question

    Six senior officials have been recalled from High Commission in New Delhi, how seriously will it impact the working of High Commission in India? (Shahid-ur-Rahman – Kyodo)

    Answer

    I think I have mentioned this in my opening statement that it was against the diplomatic norms and on false grounds that their names were given to the media, which actually risked their lives and jeopardized their security and safety. They are unable to perform their duties and so was the case with their families who have also been subjected to harassment. Thus, we have recalled them. Definitely, when such a vacuum is created the working of the High Commission is bound to suffer.

    Question

    I want to ask whether we have presented the dossier on Kulbhusan Yadav to any international organization/entity? Also, what course of action will be taken against these eight Indian diplomats?

    Secondly, whether Afghan Embassy has asked for consular access to Sharbat Gula? Also, whether Pakistan is going to deport her as her bail is denied by the court? (Saad Umar – Roze News)

    Answer

    I think, I have already responded to both of your questions. As far as Kulbhusan Yadav’s case is concerned, it is still under investigation and whenever the time is propitious, we will submit these dossiers, particularly to the UN Secretary General. With regard to the recent case of Indian diplomats, the matter is under consideration with the concerned authorities, who will determine the next course of action.

    We are extending full cooperation to the Afghan authorities in the case of Ms. Sharbat Gula. The legal course will be followed and whatever the outcome is, it will come forward in due course.

    Question

    Pakistan repeatedly requested India to provide solid and concrete evidence in the case of Mumbai attack and some other recent allegations. Recently, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan also wrote a letter to his Indian counterpart. Did Pakistan receive any evidence or India is still emptily blaming Pakistan? (Khalid Jamil – Abb Tak)

    Answer

    Actually, let me refresh your memory. The Foreign Secretary wrote the letter on 15 September 2015 and then we received a response, which was also shared with the media. There have been exchanges between the two countries in the context. The very recent one that we received from the Indian side is being examined from legal angle. However, no evidence has been shared with us so far. But, one development is that after almost eight years, India has admitted that sharing of material evidence was necessary, which they had not done so far.

    Question

    After Pakistan’s concerted efforts at UN to effectively raise the issue of Kashmir with the international community, particularly with reference to Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi’s vehement stance on Indian atrocities in IoK at the UNGA Sessions, along with the visits of Prime Minister’s Special Envoys on Kashmir, do you think that we are near to resolving the issue of Kashmir? (Asghar Ali Mubarak = Daily Mail Islamabad)

    Answer

    First of all, Pakistan remains committed to the support for Kashmiri movement for their right to self-determination as enshrined in UNSC Resolutions. We continue to extend diplomatic, moral and political support to the cause of Kashmir. Prime Minister’s Special Envoys have also made effective in sensitizing the civil society and people from other walks of life including the Legislators of the respective countries they visited. You must be aware that the situation in IoK is extremely disturbing. There is genocide going on by the Indian occupation forces, and ruthless crimes against the defencless Kashmiris being committed with absolute immunity. This is not the first time that Kashmiri have been subjected to torture and massive killings. This phase is part of a series of phases that the Indian occupation forces have unleashed on the people of IoK. Indian brutalities have caused more than 100,000 lives since 1989 alone. There have been tens of thousands of disappearances without any trace. There has been realization within the international community of how India is unleashing terror on the people of IoK.

    There have been number of activities by civil society members, Member Parliaments, Pakistani & Kashmir Diaspora, and our Missions Abroad particularly in North America, UK, across Europe, South East Asia and the Nordic region, to raise awareness about the plight of defenceless Kashmiris. Even the international media is regularly reporting on the state of brute force used by Indian occupation forces there, as manifested in the articles that the leading dailies carried such as LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post, the Guardian, etc. and reports by international media houses.

    Indian desperation to deflect attention from situation in IoK is visible from activities it has been resorting to recently, like the heating up the LoC and Working Boundary, and escalation of tension on one count or the other.

    I do agree with you that Pakistan’s efforts are moving in the right direction in sensitizing the international community about the situation in IoK.

    Question

    What kinds of measures are being taken to stop the free movement of Indian diplomats in Pakistan after the Indian authorities put a ban on the free movement of Pakistani diplomats in their country? (Kauser Lodhi – Prime News)

    Answer

    I think we have talked about it earlier also. Indian authorities have been restricting the movement of Pakistani diplomats including that of the High Commissioner on many occasions. Such matters are taken up with the Indian authorities through the diplomatic channels.

    Question

    My question is regarding the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline; there are reports that China is ready to finance the Pakistan’s portion of gas pipeline. Has China contacted Pakistan officially in this regard?

    Secondly, how does Pakistan see the upcoming Presidential Elections in US? (Rabia Pir – VOA Radio)

    Answer

    I have also seen the media reports you are referring to. Pakistan is pursuing this gas pipeline project keenly. There have been numerous contacts between Iran and Pakistan to carry forward this project. As regards the gas pipeline, I suggest that you contact Ministry of Petroleum which deals with the subject for further details.

    On your second question, we are very keenly watching the preparations of Presidential Elections. Pakistan has a long-standing relationship with the US. It is a diverse relationship; we have institutionalized mechanisms for interaction between the two countries in various fields. These mechanisms will play their role effectively whichever administration takes charge. Both the countries wish to maintain high level of engagement with each other and we have convergence of interests on various issues of regional and global interest.

    Question

    Could any action be taken under the Pakistani law against those Indian diplomats who were running RAW’s network in Pakistan? (Khawaja Nayaar Iqbal – Kashmir Post)

    Answer

    Diplomatic staff the world over enjoy diplomatic immunity. This is the reason why I mentioned in my opening statement that arresting a diplomatic official, who was working in Pakistani High Commission, New Delhi, was a violation of the Vienna Convention and against the diplomatic norms.

    Question

    This is not the first time, in the past too Indian agents were exposed. Deepik Kaul’s case is very famous in this regard, while R.K. Sharma was exposed by the Indian media itself. What steps can be taken to stop such undercover agents/activities in the future? (Naveed Akbar – Dunya Newspaper )

    Answer

    There is no definite answer to this. We expect that those who come on diplomatic assignments would confine their activities within the confines of diplomatic norms and Vienna Convention.

    Question

    My question is regarding Surjeet Singh. Yesterday there was news that he had acquired a fake employee card of a mobile company. Later, it was said that the card was not fake and investigations are being made in this regard. Has Interior Ministry given you any information in this regard? (Majid Jaral – News One)

    Answer

    I have shared the information that I had. He had a fake ID card of a telecom company and he was operating under the fake name of Abdul Hafeez.

    Question

    How long has this undercover network of the Indian High Commission been working and did they have any contact with Kulbushan Yadev?

    Secondly, is it just a coincidence that when Pakistani High Commission’s officials were blamed in India, only then this network was exposed in Pakistan or did we have any prior information in this regard? (Fayyaz Raja – Channel 92)

    Answer

    Answer to your questions is very much there in my opening statement. It has been Pakistan’s stance for over a long time the Indian state intelligence agencies have been involved in promoting terrorist and subversive activities to destabilize Pakistan for quite some time. Whatever has come to the fore is not just surveillance of a few days but over a period of time. Their activities have exposed their real motives. It is regrettable that India has been using a diplomatic mission for the nefarious design.

    Question

    In addition to the eight officials exposed by Pakistani authorities in the Indian High Commission, is Pakistan keeping an eye on diplomats and their activities from other countries too, who may also be possibly involved in under-taking subversive activities inside Pakistan? (Mateen Haider)

    Answer

    We expect and believe that all diplomatic missions operating in Pakistan abide by the law of the country, and keep their activities within the confines of diplomatic norms and Vienna Convention.

 

 

 

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of Pakistan

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