Pak Affairs

Dr Qadeer issue is over: Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said Thursday that the issue of nuclear scientists Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was over and there was no objection by any country on softening up his detention. No country has reacted to the statement of the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi that there is no harm if Dr. A.Q. Khan, being an old and sick man, is allowed to meet friends and dine out, said the Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq at his weekly briefing. “The issue of Dr. Khan is a close one and no country has approached Pakistan with any new question,” he said.

He said that discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute will be the main part of the composite dialogue between Pakistan and India and it will be an important issue in the review meetings of the 4th round of talks to be held in Islamabad next month. Islamabad, he said, believes that focus needs to be on the resolution of the core dispute of Kashmir which has caused so much suffering to Kashmiri people in the Indian held Kashmir.

The spokesman expressed the hope that Kashmir issue will be resolved as soon as possible. He said that Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet in Islamabad on May 20 and 21 for the review of the 4th round of Pak-India Composite Dialogue process. He said during 2007 talks on all eight segments of the Composite Dialogue were held covering the subjects of peace and security including CMBs, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wuller Barrage, terrorism and drugs trafficking, economic and commercial cooperation and promotion of friendly exchanges.

Replying to a question to establish Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Kashmir, the spokesman said efforts should be made to resolve the core dispute of Kashmir and such Commission could be established. Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said Pakistan is deeply concerned on the reports of discovery of 1000 nameless graves in Occupied Kashmir. He demanded that India should allow international human rights organizations to conduct an independent investigation into the issues of disappeared persons and discovery of nameless graves.

To a question he said a Truth and Reconciliation Commission could be established after resolution of the dispute. The spokesman said within the framework of Composite Dialogue, Pakistan also emphasized the need for resolving all other outstanding issues.

Asked to comment on a letter written by US Democratic Party legislators to President Bush asking him to refocus on Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the spokesman said a comprehensive strategy encompasses political, socio-economic development and security is essential to eliminate the threat. He said Pakistan is fighting terrorism in its own national interest.

Regarding disposal of nuclear waste, Muhammad Sadiq said that disposal of nuclear waste in Pakistan is strictly regulated in accordance with the international standards.
Replying a question, he said that Pakistan has always taken measures as per standards set by IAEA and Afghanistan has not complained Pakistan as regards dumping of nuclear waste inside Afghanistan.

He said the news was baseless. To another question he said, “Our nuclear power stations are under IAEA safeguards which not only keep an oversight on their operations but also on storage of nuclear waste that has to be fully accounted for.” He said Pakistan took up the matter with the Afghan Foreign Office which neither confirmed nor commented upon the statement of their Parliamentary Affairs Minister alleging dumping of nuclear waste in Afghanistan.

He said the allegations are baseless but if Afghan Government has any doubts, Pakistan would suggest that it should invite experts from IAEA to inspect the site where nuclear waste is allegedly dumped. The international experts could easily verify if the waste is there and they can also verify its origin, he added.

Replying to a question about President’s visit to China, he said the two countries enjoy very close relations and the relationship is marked by such high level visits. To another question he said Pakistan is against politicising the Olympic Games. He said sports lovers are keenly awaiting the great event and no attempt should be made to politicize it.-SANA

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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