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Indications about presence of foreigners in FATA: Sadiq

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has said that there are indications about presence of foreigners in FATA and foreign hand in exploiting the situation there. Replying to questions at the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq, however, said there was no specific information. Asked to comment on the US opposition to peace agreements in FATA, he said talks are being held with tribal chiefs and notables and not with miscreants. He said the policy has an advantage in that the Government can engage them in the process of development of the areas.

He emphasized that mere use of force will not help resolve the problem. Pakistan is pursuing three pronged strategy of use of force if and when required, socio-economic development and political dialogue to address the issue. He rejected the allegations leveled by the spokesman of the Afghan Intelligence Agency and Presidency against Pakistani security agencies for attack on President Hamid Karzai on 27th of April this year.

The spokesman hoped that Afghan Government would adopt serious attitude and desist from vitiating the atmosphere of bilateral relations with Pakistan. This has not helped matters in the past and will not in the future as well. He pointed out that Pakistan condemned the attack and was gratified that he was not harmed. This was a natural expression of a genuine sentiment on the part of a brotherly country that wished to foster close ties with Afghanistan. In the subsequent meetings and contacts between the two countries, no hint of any misgivings on this score was given by the Afghan side.

The spokesman expressed surprise that such allegations are being leveled at this stage. He referred to reports suggesting that the attack had something to do with a massive intelligence and security failure or some kind of problems between the Afghan intelligence apparatus and the Government. Pakistan has noted that most of the people arrested after the attack were employees of the Afghan Government including the Defence Ministry.

He said it is regrettable that these allegations suggest that responsible members in the Afghan government wish to reignite the blame game. Referring to the incident of parading chained Pakistani prisoners in a news conference by Governor of Kandahar, he said this is a medieval practice, not different from what Taliban occasionally indulged in the past.

To a question the spokesman said under the tripartite dialogue between Pakistan, Afghanistan and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Afghan refugees will return to their homeland by 31of December next year and Pakistan would like to follow the timetable. The spokesmen termed as mere conjecture reports that the nuclear bomb design in digital format, which was in the possession of the Tinners of Switzerland, was similar to Pakistan design. He said the conjecture is surprising as no foreigner has any access to Pakistan’s nuclear designs.

He questioned that if Tinners files had relevance to Dr. A.Q. Khan then why where they destroyed. Why the Western investigators not extracted details of transactions from the Tinners? Why are the Tinners to be released? He said the files should have been shared with Pakistan if they were genuine and relevant to Dr. Khan.

He said no foreign Government has contacted Pakistan in this case which shows that the news item is speculative and part of the propaganda campaign against the country. He also pointed out that Dr. Khan has no official status for last several years and in no manner he can indulge in nuclear proliferation.

He told a questioner that the UN Office of the Legal Affairs is reviewing Pakistan’s request for UN probe into the shahadat of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will visit New York early next month to meet the Secretary General and representatives of the Security Council member countries for consultations. The spokesman confirmed that the United States has transferred 373.841 million dollars to Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund. Out of this, 119 million dollars were pending since 2007 while the rest of the reimbursements were from this year.

To a question the spokesman said Pakistan welcomes efforts of the APHC leadership to bring about unity in their ranks. He hoped that meeting between Mirwaiz Omer Farooq and Syed Ali Gilani on 19th of this month would enable the Hurriyat to play a more effective role in the realization of the rights of the Kashmiri people. Replying to yet another question the spokesman said steps recommended by the India-Pakistan Judicial Committee to streamline the release of prisoners are being implemented.-SANA

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Rubab Saleemhttp://www.rubabsaleem.com
Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times
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