ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday once again reiterated that it does not want deterioration of situation on the Line of Control (LoC).
“We do not want deterioration of situation on the LoC,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in her weekly news briefing. She said that the meeting of directors general of military operations of the two countries was held recently for this very purpose. Responding to a question, she said Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has left for Marrakesh, Morocco, to attend the 20th Session of the Al-Quds Committee which is scheduled to take place on the January 17.
She said it is preceded by senior officials meeting which is taking place today to prepare the draft document of the committee meeting. The spokesperson said Pakistan has been an active member of the Al-Quds Committee since its establishment in 1975. Clarifying a report that appeared in a daily newspaper that in Italy, two boats were intercepted carrying illegal immigrants and that majority of them were Pakistanis, she said this report is factually incorrect.
“Our Mission has informed that initially there was an estimate that there were 25 to 30 Pakistanis among the people on those two boats carrying 250 and 800 passengers respectively.” “However, after the police interviews, it has been found that their mother tongue was written as Arabic in the documents. Lately, the Italian authorities have informed Pakistan Mission that 65 of them appear to be Pakistanis”, she added. Tasnim Aslam said they do not have any legal documents and there nationalities will be ascertained after further investigations.
She said there is a need to be careful as illegal immigration takes place around the world and it is an issue where governments are cooperating because it entails exploitation of innocent people who are actually economic migrants. “We should not exaggerate the number of Pakistanis involved as in more than one thousand people, 50 or 60 turn out to be Pakistanis that is not a very high number although our preference will be that none of the Pakistanis should be caught in these unfortunate situations,” she said.
Answering a question she said a very strong lobby is now building around the world that death penalty should be abolished. She said a drug trafficker plays with the lives of the people and the drug addicts are people who are a burden on society and who end up having a miserable existence and nobody should be pushed in to that situation. She said many countries have very stern punishments, for example Saudi Arabia and China, where drug trafficking is a crime that carries death penalty.
While commenting the statement of the Indian army chief, the spokesperson, said the ISPR has already issued a statement in response to his claims. She, however, said, “We believe that it is a regrettable statement. It is proactive and unfortunate and as the DG ISPR has already pointed out, statements like these and claims of this sort tend to deteriorate the situation.” Replying to an other question on Israeli atrocities, the spokesperson said, “We would like to see peace and we would like to see the Palestinians exercising their right to have a viable state which has Jerusalem as its capital.” She said the Al-Quds meeting signifies the importance Pakistan attaches to this issue. On the nuclear issue of Iran, the spokesperson said Pakistan’s position has always been that there is no military solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
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