Foreign Office calls for end to drone strikes
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Friday said that all stakeholders in the Afghan reconciliation process should demonstrate perseverance, patience and sincerity of purpose for long-lasting solution to the issue.
Responding to queries by media representatives at a weekly news briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit presented the stance of the Foreign Office on crucial foreign policy issues.
The Spokesperson called Afghan reconciliation a “intricate” process in which ups and downs were inevitable.
However, it is important that all the parties demonstrate patience and perseverance to achieve the objective of a sovereign, independent and stable Afghanistan, he added.
Basit said Pakistan on its part will continue to encourage all the parties towards intra-Afghan consensus as was underlined by the prime minister in a statement on February 24.
Responding to a series of questions regarding drone attacks, the spokesman said there was no question that the attacks amount to the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
He said Pakistan was using all diplomatic channels to bring an end to the strikes that were damaging it’s efforts against militancy and terrorism.
“Voices are also being raised in the West against these illegal drone strikes,” Basit added.
He said Pakistan was taking the issue forcefully with the United States and hoped that the US would revisit its policy towards that end.
He said it was high time that the illegal use of drone attacks is stopped.
About the options available for stopping the drone attacks, the spokesman said we are waiting for the completion of the parliamentary process on the new terms of engagements with the US. In the guidelines of the parliament, he said we will move forward and take up the issue with the US.
To a question, he rejected the notion that any of Pakistan’s bases is being used for the drone strikes.
Rejecting existence of any joint mechanism between Islamabad and Washington on the drone strikes, the spokesman said the country’s sovereignty was non negotiable and any arrangement where sovereignty was compromised was not acceptable.
Judicial Commission to India
Regarding the visit of Pakistan’s Judicial Commission to India, Abdul Basit said the commission would record statements regarding the Mumbai attacks and hoped it would be helpful in concluding trial of the case in Pakistan.
About Samjhota express incident, the spokesman said the abhorrent act claimed the lives of about forty two Pakistani nationals. He regretted that despite the lapse of five years, India had not shared any outcome of its investigation into the incident.
The spokesperson said it is the right of the families of victims to know what has been done to bring the perpetrators of the incident to justice. He hoped India will not only speed up investigation into the incident but also share its findings with Pakistan.