Pakistan trying not to let Davis issue strain ties with US: FO | Pakistan Today

Pakistan trying not to let Davis issue strain ties with US: FO

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said it was working with the US to ensure that the diplomatic row with Washington over suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis, arrested in January for killing two Pakistanis in Lahore, did not impact bilateral relations.
In response to a volley of questions on the Davis’ issue at her weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said, “The matter of Davis is sub-judice and it will be a little early for me to say anything in this regard.” “As far as the Foreign Ministry is concerned, it is our responsibility to ensure that no relationship goes down to zero and our effort, and that we understand of the US State Department, is similar in this regard,” she said.
Janjua refused to answer queries on the US administration’s stance that Davis’ arrest had violated the Vienna Convention and reports that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were involved in negotiations to resolve the matter. “We have also seen reports to this effect in the media but as the situation stands right now, the case is sub-judice and it is best that we do not make any further comments on it.” She said Pakistan and the US continued to talk to each other and Islamabad believed the two sides could bilaterally sort out all issues.
Janjua said the Law, Interior and Foreign Ministries were working together to address the Davis case in line with the international and Pakistani law and global practice. US Ambassador Cameron Munter again called on Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir on Thursday to discuss the issue and repeated the demand for Davis’ release, according to a Foreign Office official.
In response to another question at the press briefing about a senior Pakistan army officer’s contention that a majority of those killed in the US drone attacks were terrorists, Janjua said there had been no change in Pakistan’s policy on the missile strikes by the unmanned American spy planes. She said, “We continue to protest with the US with regards to civilian casualties that take place. In this context, the leadership has repeatedly raised this issue with the US leadership and all delegations from the US that visit Pakistan.”
Janjua said Pakistan was keen to discuss terrorism-related issues in the first of a series of secretary-level meetings with India as part of the resumption of dialogue between the two countries. She said following an agreement reached by the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan during a meeting in Bhutan earlier this year, the home and interior secretaries of the two sides would meet in New Delhi on March 28 and 29 to kick start the dialogue process.
“Matters related to counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues will be discussed by the Home and Interior Secretaries,” she said. To another question, she said so far 3,129 Pakistanis had been repatriated from Libya through various routes. Janjua said Pakistan was watching changes in North African and Arab countries but it stood on the principle of non-interference and respecting territorial integrity of all states.



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