No plan to ban Dawa, says FO
* Scientist’s release marks closure of AQ Khan case
* Kashmiri leaders must have greater involvement in peace process
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has no plans to act against two Islamic charities listed by the United States last week as terrorist organisations, the Foreign Office said on Tuesday.
The United States banned the Jamaatud Dawa and its affiliate Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq as terrorist organisations, saying they were fronts for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group fighting Indian rule in Kashmir.
Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told a weekly press briefing that Pakistan was under no obligation to comply with the US decision. “We are not required, and we do not put any entities on the terrorist lists, if action is taken under the domestic US law,” she said.
“However, if the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee were to designate any organisation (as a terrorist group), then it becomes a legal obligation to take action.”
Responding to a question about the release of nuclear scientist Dr Mohammed Farooq – freed last week after two years of detention - Aslam said he had been thoroughly investigated. “We have conducted thorough investigations in this affair. We have shared our information with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and other countries, including the United States,”
She said no foreign country would be allowed direct access to the scientist. “We have repeatedly said that whatever information is required, questions can be forwarded to the government of Pakistan. We would get the answer, we would do investigation and we would transmit this information,” she said. “(But) there is no question of direct access.”
Aslam said his release showed the nuclear proliferation case involving Dr AQ Khan was closed as far as Pakistan was concerned. “I would presume that with Dr Farooq’s release, we are able to close that chapter,” she said.
The FO spokeswoman emphasised the need for association of Kashmiri leadership with the peace process. She hoped talks between the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi would be a step towards trilateral engagement.
About the Iranian gas pipeline project, she said Pakistan and Iran were ready to build the pipeline bilaterally if India were not to join the project.
Asked about permission given to the Netherlands to use Pakistani airspace and airfields, the spokeswoman said Pakistan was already providing logistic support to NATO and ISAF troops in their security operations in Afghanistan. She said Pakistani facilities are not used for military action in Afghanistan, but as a transit point. She added that Dutch troops are not engaged in military operations in Afghanistan but maintain and provide security.
To a question, Aslam said Pakistan and the United States had decided at the recent strategic dialogue in Washington that working groups on various subjects would meet during the next two months. This would be followed by another round of talks between the foreign secretary and his US counterpart.