ISLAMABAD–Foreign Office (FO) spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said Friday that Pakistan had had made it clear that none if its boats went missing as claimed by Indian officials.
Earlier on Wednesday, India’s Deputy Inspector General of the Coast Guard denied reports which said that he had admitted ordering for a Pakistani boat to be blown up in the Arabian Sea on New Year’s eve.
The claim was in sharp contrast to New Delhi’s official position which had been adamant that the boat had ‘suspected terror links’ and that the crew had committed suicide by setting the vessel on fire.
Coast Guard DIG B.K. Loshali later issued a rejoinder which rejected the media report terming it as ‘not factual’ and denied making any such claim.
Responding to a question about Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Pakistan, the spokeswoman made it clear that all outstanding issues between the two countries would be discussed when he visits Islamabad. However, Aslam added that no dates for the foreign secretary’s visit had been finalised.
She added that Pakistan was committed to having a meaningful dialogue with India and had never backtracked.
Regarding the Samjhota Express incident which left 68 people (mostly Pakistanis) dead and its investigation, Aslam said Indian authorities had never shared any probe reports with Islamabad.
The train was carrying 757 passengers, including 553 Pakistanis, from New Delhi to Lahore via Attari when it was targeted by two low-intensity improvised explosive devices which caused the carriages to explode near the Shiva village in India’s Panipat District.
She added that in light of the anniversary (February 18) of this tragic incident, Pakistan once again demanded of the Indian government to share complete investigation with the government of Pakistan.
Responding to a question regarding reports of resumption of dialogue between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government, Aslam said Pakistan was ready to play the role of a facilitator. However, she said, the reconciliation process between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban should be owned and led by Afghanistan.
Regarding the return of refugees to Afghanistan, the spokeswoman said a high-level Afghan delegation was expected to visit Islamabad soon to discuss the matter with Pakistani officials. She added that under an agreement, Afghan refugees are supposed to return by the end of 2015.
Pakistan only executing hardened terrorists
Furthermore, Aslam rejected the European Union’s human rights concerns over death sentences and made it clear that Pakistan was executing only those criminals who had been convicted in terrorism cases.
“The executions are not a violation of any international law,” remarked Aslam.
She expressed ignorance when asked as to whether the EU had sought access to proceedings at the military courts in Pakistan and said that these courts came into being by an Act of Parliament.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily