ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Inamul Haque will attend the 29th session of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Council of Minister beginning in New Delhi on Friday. The two day meeting will review the progress on the implementation of the decisions taken by the 14th SAARC Summit and give further direction to the organization on various issues of common interest.
Briefing newsmen in here on Wednesday, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said besides attending the meeting of Council of Minister, the Foreign Minister would hold bilateral meetings with his Indian counterpart Parnab Mukherjee and other participating foreign ministers.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will also receive the SAARC Foreign Ministers.Replying to a question, the spokesman said no dates have yet been fixed but the foreign secretaries level talks between Pakistan and India would be held early next year. To another question he said India had notified Pakistan about ballistic missile test carried out by New Delhi two days ago.
Responding to questions about statement of President Bush regarding direct action if Osama bin Ladin was spotted in Pakistan, the spokesman said foreign intervention inside Pakistani territory was unacceptable.
He said Pakistan was part of the global fight against terrorism but will not allow any other country to take action inside the country. All counter terrorism measures inside Pakistani territories will be taken by our own forces. He made it clear that there was no secret deal on this part of the policy.
To another question he said Pakistan’s nuclear assets are safe and there is danger of getting them into wrong hands. He said Pakistan has a very strong command and control system. He said that the nuclear proliferation issue was now a closed chapter.
About Iranian nuclear programme, he said according to the latest US intelligence reports Tehran stopped it in 2003 but President Bush made somewhat contrary remarks the other day. He said Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear technology and added that as member of the NPT, Tehran has certain obligations but those does not prevent Iran from having peaceful nuclear programme.
To a question, the spokesman said that 72 Pakistanis who were in different US prisons on different charges were brought back on Wednesday. About the Pak-Afghan peace jirga, he said that dates for mini jirga of Pakistan and Afghanistan would be announced during the next few weeks while grand jirga would be held in the first half of next year.