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Friday Apr 15, 2016

'More RAW agents held, details to be shared soon'

'More RAW agents held, details to be shared soon'

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office said on Thursday that more RAW agents had been arrested and further details about them will be shared soon.

“The recent arrest and confessional statement by a RAW officer has vindicated Pakistan’s position that Indian state institutions are involved in conducting terrorist activities in Pakistan. Investigations are still going on regarding Kulbushan Yadav. Some arrests have also been made as a result of his interrogation. “As investigations continue, more aspects related to this may come to light,” said the FO spokesman at the weekly media briefing.

He said Pakistan’s doors for a meaningful dialogue without preconditions with India are open as it believes this is the best option as diplomacy helps in interaction and engagement between countries, and no option should be foreclosed.

The recent remarks by Pakistan’s high commissioner in New Delhi that the peace process was ‘suspended’ raised eyebrows and was interpreted by the Indian media as Pakistan calling off the bilateral talks unilaterally.

“There is a difference between comments on the day to day ground situation as compared to broader policy and future vision and prospects. At our level here in the ministry, we do not give a day to day running commentary on official policy,” the spokesman said while responding to a query whether all institutions in Pakistan were on the same page.

With New Delhi not coming forward to restart the foreign secretary-level talks, for all practical purposes the diplomatic process is ‘suspended’ but Islamabad remains keen to continue engagements.

“During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Pakistan in December last, it was decided that the two foreign secretaries should meet soon. It is hoped that both sides would work out modalities for the foreign secretary-level talks. We need to look ahead and not think in terms foreclosing any options. Both sides are in contact with each other. Once the modalities are worked out, foreign secretary-level talks would take place,” the spokesman said at a time when India is keen to first sort out investigations into the Pathankot terrorist attack.

In this regard, Pakistan says that investigations are underway and the Joint Investigation Team that recently returned from Pathankot is evaluating the information shared by the Indian side. “It may be appropriate to allow the investigations to take its due course rather than indulging in speculations,” the spokesman advised.

However, he added that Pakistan also expects that its neighbour would respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity by refraining from any interference or subversive activities.

Even on Kashmir, Pakistan says that it remains committed to resolving all outstanding issues through a sustainable, uninterrupted and meaningful dialogue with India without any pre-conditions, in order to address each other’s concerns, and establish lasting peace.

“Pakistan has always highlighted the human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir at the UN and other international forums. A number of civil society organisations and human rights activists have also been raising the issue of human rights violations pertaining to torture, illegal detentions, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. We have always condemned these violations and will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people,” the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, due to ongoing conflicts and uncertain security situation that could pose serious risks to foreigners in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, Pakistani nationals have been advised to refrain from unnecessary travel to these countries.—Originally published in The News

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