- Spokesperson says Kulbushan Jadhav being grilled by interrogators, more arrests made on revelations made by RAW agent
- Pakistan in contact with Iran over RAW activities, Tehran has assured complete cooperation
The weekly media briefing of the FO spokesperson on Thursday was dominated by the issue of the captured Indian spy, RAW’s activities in Pakistan, Pak-Afghan relationship and Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that visited India last month to look into the Pathankot incident.
After the opening remarks by Nafees Zakaria in which he termed the 4th Nuclear Security summit in Washington a ‘success’ and that ‘gratifying statements’ were issued in favor of Pakistan’s commitment to the cause of non-proliferation, the FO spokesperson aired Pakistan’s concerns over extravagant expenditure of India to arm itself to teeth. Furthermore, he also informed that more arrests of Indians have been made in recent days.
When the floor was opened for questions, the first question was regarding consular access to Jadhav.
Zakaria said that the Indian request for consular access is still under consideration as Pakistan and India have signed an agreement in this regard in 2008. Answering another similar query, he said that investigation is under progress and law enforcement agencies are working day and night to apprehend individuals involved in subversive activities in Pakistan.
On the matter of bilateral talks between foreign secretaries of the two countries, Zakaria said the two officials may meet after modalities are sorted out between both sides.
“We don’t comment on bilateral relationship between two sovereign countries,” the FO official said when he was asked about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. “As far Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s relations are concerned, we have brotherly and timeless relationship,” he said.
The spokesperson also said that Pakistan has contacted Iranian authorities over the issue of espionage and other matters. When asked whether any mechanism of intelligence sharing is currently in place and has Pakistan demanded handing over of Jadhav’s associates, he replied that Pakistan is in contact with Iranian authorities on all levels.
“The President of Iran during his visit of Pakistan had said that the security of Iran is the security of Pakistan and security of Pakistan is security of Iran. Iran has also assured us that it will not allow any country to use its soil to conduct activities against Pakistan,” he said.
The issue of 200 Pakistanis detained in Greece also surfaced during the briefing. “Around 130 Pakistanis were deported from Greece and reached a port in Turkey, ambassador in Athens is in contact with Greek authorities to ascertain the whole situation,” Zakaria replied.
“Pakistan has engaged in sincere and consistent effort to lasting peace in Afghanistan. We’ve always backed a politically-negotiated settlement in Afghanistan,” said Zakaria when a reporter pointed towards the Afghan president’s statement that an undeclared war is afoot between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The ‘elephant in the room’ i.e. the Panama Papers eventually reared its ugly head when asked whether Pakistan has contacted Panamanian authorities regarding the offshore companies owned by family members of the ruling party.
“That’s not my domain to comment,” Zakaria remarked.