ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has issued 200 visas to almost all the foreign observers, Members of Parliaments, representatives and media persons to monitor the upcoming elections on January 8. Briefing media persons here on Wednesday, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said that the observers of International Republican Institute, EU countries, NGOs and media representatives will be able to reach out all places including polling stations without any hindrance to see the election process.
The spokesman welcomed the statement of the Commonwealth that it will review its relations with Pakistan after the elections. To a question about New York Times report about development in FATA, he said such reports can damage our efforts to fight against terrorism.
He explained that economic development of the areas is pivotal to tackle with the menace of terrorism. He said we are using our own resources for this purpose and need international assistance as well. He said there is need to create job opportunities and develop the area.
When asked to comment on the recent Indian missile tests, the spokesman said the Indian tests are part of missile defence shield and Pakistan is against introducing new defence system as it would trigger arms race in South Asia. He said the arms race will have negative impact on the social life of the people of the region. He however, made it clear that Pakistan will take every possible step for its defence.
About Pakistan-India composite dialogue process, the spokesman said the 4th round will begin early next year. Replying a question, he said that the judicial committee set up to facilitate the exchange of Pakistani and Indian prisoners will soon meet in India to address this humanitarian issue. He said there are 450 Pakistani prisoners in India while 500 Indian prisoners are in Pakistani jails. Commenting on the statement of the Pope, he said the situation in Pakistan is not that bad. He said this is the difference of perceptions.-SANA