ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday, strongly condemning the Indian violations of sending spy drones across the Line of Control, saying any misadventure by India would be responded in a befitting manner.
“Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be mistaken for weakness,” Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal said here at a weekly press briefing, held at the Foreign Office.
The Pakistan Army recently shot down two Indian spy qua-copters in the Poonch sector of Azad Kashmir, which was being used by the Indian military for intelligence gathering about the Pakistani posts through aerial photography and for targeting selection for cross-LoC firing.
The Spokesman said, “Our forces remain vigilant and have responded effectively to these threats. Any misadventure by India would be responded in a befitting manner.”
He categorically rejected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statement about carrying out surgical strike within Pakistan back in 2016, and said “no surgical strike took place at the first and the fact was seconded by the Indian media as well”.
Muhammad Faisal termed reports of 23 missing passports of Indian Sikh pilgrims misplaced by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi as ‘baseless and speculative’. He said the High Commission smoothly handled several thousand passports with over 3,800 visas issued for the 549th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Kartarpur.
In response to U.S President Donald Trump’s remarks that ‘he looked forward to meeting Pakistan’s new leadership, the Spokesman said, “We also look forward to positive engagement with the United States at the leadership level.”
However, he added that President Trump’s remarks were “indeed a departure from his tweet of January 1, 2018”. Trump on the first day of 2018 had posted a tweet, saying that Pakistan’s leaders hadn’t done enough to help the U.S. thwart militants in the region.
To a question on Pakistan’s direct role in facilitating the next round of Afghan reconciliation process, with a possibility to be held in Saudi Arabia or Qatar, the Spokesman said Pakistan would continue its outreach to regional countries and important international partners for mutually beneficial cooperation and to advance the peace process.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would also undertake an official visit to Qatar this January on mutually agreed dates between the two governments.
About reports of a militant commander, involved in terrorist attack against Pakistan, was residing in an Afghan city, he said “it was important that Afghanistan does not let any country, terrorist group or individual use its territory against Pakistan”.
When asked about possible fallout of the U.S pullout from Afghanistan, he said Pakistan being the immediate neighbour, would support any development leading to peace and stability of Afghanistan and the region.
When attention was drawn to Federal Investigation Agency’s recently released rules and regulations for citizens of seven countries including Israel for conditional entry into Pakistan, the Spokesman said, “Pakistan does not recognizes Israel”.
He denied to comment and said the question pertained to the Ministry of Interior.