ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reiterated that the drone attacks were counter productive and not helpful in the fight against terrorism and extremism. Replying to questions at the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said Pakistan has taken up the issue very forcefully with the United States.
He said since Pakistan has been cooperating sincerely as an ally, the United States will understand its concerns and review its policy accordingly. He dismissed reports that drone attacks were being carried out with tacit permission of Pakistan and said how a country can allow its sovereignty and territorial integrity to be breached.
The spokesman said the whole issue of campaign against terror needs to be reviewed and there is need for a comprehensive regional approach in order to resolve the issues involved. He said that instead of use of force there is need to win hearts and minds of people.
He said Pakistan believes that force has not worked in the past and will not work in future and therefore it is absolutely important that all stakeholders work towards promoting development and national reconciliation in Afghanistan. He expressed the hope that there would be some positive outcome of the issues involved including drone attacks in the US policy review on terrorism being announced tomorrow.
To a question the spokesman said there is robust cooperation among Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States and other countries of the world in counter terrorism. Pakistan and Afghanistan are close neighbours and process of constructive multi-tiers engagement including counter terrorism has been significantly enhanced. Pakistan sincerely wishes to see a peaceful, stable, sovereign and united Afghanistan, which would be an anchor of peace for the entire region.
Asked to comment on announcement of head money by US on some terrorists, he said Pakistan is against terrorism in all its forms and manifestation and supports steps that help bring terrorists to justice.
Replying to another question the spokesman said reports about involvement of any foreign country in the security of Pakistani nuclear assets are mere conjectures. He said Pakistan armed forces are fully capable of taking care of our strategic assets and facilities and we do not need foreign assistance in this regard.
He underlined that the nuclear assets are completely safe and secure under a fully indigenous multi layered institutional security and command and control structure operational since 1998.
He said that consistent with its obligations as a nuclear weapons state, Pakistan formally instituted an elaborate command and control mechanism in February 2000 comprising National Command Authority, Strategic Plans Division and Strategic Force Command. He said SPD has elaborate mechanism including counter intelligence network to safeguard our nuclear facilities.
The spokesman told a questioner that Pakistan Indus Water Commissioner has written a letter to his Indian counterpart regarding Kishan Ganga project and the Ministry of Water and Power is working on the issue with a view to resuming talks. He said Indus Water Treaty provides dispute settlement mechanism and Pakistan can consider invoking the treaty.
To another question he said Pakistan desires good neighborly relations with India and wishes to resume the process of engagement with a view to enhancing all round cooperation for seeking just and durable settlement of all outstanding disputes including Jammu and Kashmir. Responding to a question the spokesman said Pakistan and Iran have worked out a border control mechanism to deal with each other’s concerns.-SANA