‘Kalbhushan Yadav: Report on activities to be finalized soon’

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday informed the Senate that report on the activities of Kalbhushan Yadav, a serving officer of Indian navy who was caught red-handed while spying in Pakistan, will be finalized in near future. 

Aziz told that all the recommendations made by the Senate panel have been implemented. He was briefing the House over a report of the Senate’s Committee of the Whole that has made certain recommendations over recent escalating tension between India and Pakistan.

“The Prime Minister presented a report on Indian atrocities in Indian-held Kashmir to the UN Secretary General in September at New York.

This report has been shared with other key countries and international organisations. Another report on the activities of Kalbhushan Yadav will also be finalized in near future”, he added.

About hiring international lobbyists and strategic communication firms and reactivating Pakistani community living abroad to change global narrative, he said that action is being taken, adding the role of international lobbyists has indeed become crucial to project Pakistan’s position and pursue foreign policy objectives.

“The Missions are also keeping close liaison with the Pakistani and Kashmiri Diaspora. Our Missions abroad including the one in New Delhi are making outreach efforts to highlight the Indian extremist policies”, he added.

About countering India’s initiatives to demoralise/isolate Pakistan, particularly amongst neighbours of Pakistan, SAARC members and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), he said that all-out efforts are being made to counter the nefarious motives of India, and it would not succeed in its motives.

“The efforts to cultivate Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Iran and the Central Asian republics plus Russia are being redoubled, for which parliamentarians and parliamentary committees are playing important roles”, he added.

He said that Pakistan is making all outreach efforts to engage the international community including regional countries, adding, “We would continue to rely on support of our Parliament and parliamentarians.”

He said that Pakistan is continuing to support all initiatives taken for peace and stability in the region, adding under the guidance of the Prime Minister, the government has pursued a policy of peaceful neighbourhood since June 2013.

“Pakistan remains actively involved in the Heart of Asia (Istanbul Process) as well as the Quadrilateral Co-ordination Group (QCG). The Heart of Asia Ministerial meeting held in Islamabad in December 2015 was a success. Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace and stability is evident from our decision to participate in the upcoming Heart of Asia Ministerial in Amritsar, India, despite the postponement of SAARC Summit at India’s behest, which was to be held in Islamabad”, he added.

About appointing a full time foreign minister, he cleared that the adviser to the prime minister is a position equal to the foreign minister, and the adviser is treated as de facto foreign minister abroad. “But, a full time foreign minister will also be appointed in future”, he added.

He also said that Pakistan is ready to resume meaningful dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues including the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir through comprehensive and composite talks.

He said Pakistan has also welcomed the UN Secretary General’s offer to use his good offices to resume dialogue between the two countries.

He said Pakistan is committed to respecting the understanding reached between the two countries in 2003 to observe ceasefire on the LoC. Aziz said that Pakistan wants peace in the region and is fighting terrorism and there is no room for non-state actors to use Pakistan’s soil against any country, adding India cannot revoke Indus Water Treaty unilaterally.

RESOLUTION; The Upper House of Parliament passed a unanimous resolution, condemning missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Makkah by launching a long-range ballistic missile from 500km over the border last month.

The resolution moved by the Leader of the House in Senate stated that Senate strongly condemns launching of ballistic missile towards Makkah on October 27, 2016 which was luckily intercepted and destroyed by air defence forces of Saudi Arabia.

The resolution called upon the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and UN Security Council to take serious notice of ‘flouting of inviolability of holy places which amounts to encroaching upon religious sanctities of one billion Muslims across the world as stipulated in international convention.’

“Representing the sentiments of Pakistanis and Muslim world as a whole, Senate strongly condemns such actions which amount to provoking the sentiments and feelings of Muslims,” it added.

It called upon the government to reassure its full support to Saudi Arabia towards protection of sanctity of the holy places which ties together the Muslims throughout the world.

BILLS; The Senate passed 4 bills unanimously which included: The Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill 2016; The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2016; The Central law Officer (Amendment) Bill 2016 and The Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill 2016.

-Business Recorder