- Spokesperson says Pakistan regards drone strikes a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity
- Says Pakistan has urged Afghanistan for better border management to thwart terrorists’ attempts to flee military offensive in NWA
- Says no restriction on Tahirul Qadri from visiting Pakistan because he’s ‘also a Pakistani citizen’
Pakistan on Thursday condemned recent drone strikes that took place near Miranshah in North Waziristan, and said there was no connection between the strikes and ongoing military operation.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam in her weekly briefing said Pakistan condemned the recent incidents of US drone strikes that took place near Miranshah in North Waziristan during the early hours of Wednesday.
She said there was no link of these drone attacks to the military operation in North Waziristan and that it was completely misleading and wrong to attach these strikes with the ongoing operation. The spokesperson added that Pakistan regarded such strikes a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. She also said these strikes also had a negative impact on government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region.
Referring to previous statements and efforts of Pakistan on the drone issue, the spokesperson said Pakistan had agitated the issue at various international fora and presented and passed a number of resolutions against drone strikes. She said a resolution, sponsored by Pakistan, was also passed by the Human Rights Council on drone strikes and that Pakistan had also taken up the issue of drone strikes with US officials at various levels to lodge its protest.
In response to another question about the military operation in North Waziristan and contact with the Afghan leadership, the spokesman said Pakistan has conveyed to the Afghan leadership that this operation was the need of the hour and to purge the area from extremist and terrorist elements.
She said there was a need for better border management and parallel steps on the other side so that no terrorist could escape into Afghanistan.
She said Pakistan has emphasised that there should be better management across the border this time and the Afghan government should also take adequate steps so that there could be no disturbance and interference from Afghan side in this operation.
Responding to a question about asking the Canadian government to stop Dr Tahir ul Qadri to travel to Pakistan as he is Canadian citizen, the spokesperson said although there were international norms in this regard but Tahirul Qadri was also a Pakistani citizen, therefore, this law was not applicable.
Commenting on the forthcoming visit of Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to the Russian federation, the spokesperson said he will attend a conference but he will also meet his Russian counterpart during this visit and discuss bilateral relations and regional situation.
The spokesperson said Pak-Russian ties had been on a positive trajectory in the last few years and these relations in different sectors were improving.
Replying to a question on latest situation in Iraq, the spokesperson said, “We are concerned about escalation of violence in Iraq.”
She said “Pakistan wants stable, peaceful and calm, not only in Iraq but also in the region.”
The spokesperson said Pakistan’s envoy in Baghdad had informed that all the Pakistanis living in Iraq were safe and sound as they were living away from the disturbed areas.
Replying to a question, the spokesperson said there were 281 Pakistani in different prisons of China.
She said 90 percent of these Pakistani prisoners were held on charges of drug and illegal trade activities while very few were in the jails on the charges of illegal entry or stay in China.
On the question of any contact between Pakistan and India, the spokesperson said two sides were in contact with each other.