Israel not being recognised yet: FO
* Says IAEA has returned Pakistan’s centrifuge components
* Indian representatives meet Sarabjit Singh today
ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf’s next month’s address to the Jewish Congress in New York does not mean recognition of Israel, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Naeem Khan said on Monday.
Speaking at a weekly press briefing, the spokesman reiterated Pakistan’s stand that Israel could not be recognised till the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
President Musharraf has been invited to address the American Jewish Congress next month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, aimed at promoting inter-faith harmony, the spokesman said.
About Afghanistan, Khan said Pakistan was trying for peace and stability in the war-torn country. He said that Pakistan was supporting the Karzai government so that over 3.4 million Afghan refugees could be repatriated. He said the tripartite meeting between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UNHCR in Kabul on Monday reviewed the progress on the repatriation of Afghan refugees, their registration and measures for an enabling environment for their return.
Regarding inclusion of Afghanistan in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Khan said Pakistan had always favoured inter-region and intra-region cooperation. He rejected the Indian allegations about Taliban militants from Pakistan entering Afghanistan.
He told the briefing that a meeting of the Pakistani and Indian interior secretaries in New Delhi on Monday discussed terrorism, drug trafficking and prisoners’ exchange. He said Pakistan would also give India a list of the men wanted by Islamabad. He said that the foreign secretaries of both the countries would meet in Islamabad on September 1 and 2 to review progress on the eight-point agenda for confidence-building measures (CBMs). The foreign secretaries’ meeting will be followed by a meeting of the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers in Islamabad from October 3 to 5.
Khan said Pakistan had no favourite in held Kashmir, but it supported the Kashmiris’ struggle and wanted their participation in the dialogue process between Pakistan and India.
He said that Pakistan was in contact with the Kuwait government and Iraqi envoy in Islamabad for the safe return of the eight missing Pakistanis in Iraq.
About the alleged nuclear proliferation issue, Khan said the UN nuclear agency had returned Pakistan’s centrifuge components after testing them in a probe tied to Iran’s nuclear programme. Pakistan’s role in the investigation into Iran’s controversial nuclear programme is over, he added.
He said Pakistani and IAEA officials have held talks on the agency’s findings but he would not discuss the results. Pakistan is facing no pressure whatsoever from any country with regard to extradition of father of its nuclear bomb Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. Pakistan shared all information obtained from Dr Khan with respective countries and they were satisfied with it, he added.
The FO spokesman said that Indian representatives would meet an Indian prisoner facing the death penalty in a jail in Lahore on Tuesday. Consular access to Indian national Sarabjit Singh will be given in the Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Moreover, modalities were being worked out in consultation with the Palestinian authorities for the first visit of a Pakistani delegation to Gaza and Al Quds.
The FO spokesman denied that Dawood Ibrahim was in Pakistan. “He is not in Pakistan. I think he is living somewhere else,” Khan said. agencies