As a matter of fact the barrage issue was part of the eight-point agenda of the composite dialogue process taking place between Indian and Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry told the weekly press briefing here.
The spokesman stated Pakistan had refrained from the practice of allegations and tried to use the existing diplomatic channels to find solutions to any problem that might arise due to violations on the Line of Control (LOC). The restrained behavior demonstrated by the leadership and the government of Pakistan did show maturity, he said while adding that better ties between India and Pakistan were beneficial for the entire world too.
To a question, the spokesman said that as a matter of principle, Pakistan was committed to regional peace and stability and would not let its soil be used against any neighbouring country. “But at the same time, we expect the others would reciprocate,” he added.
About US drone strikes, the spokesman said Pakistan had a clear stand on drone attacks that these were illegal, and were in violation of Pakistan's sovereignty, besides being counterproductive. “Pakistan conveyed its position about US drone strikes to the UN representative during his recent visit to the country, and he would report to the General Assembly in October this year about it,” he went on to say. The spokesman expressed satisfaction about growing international opposition to US drone strikes in all parts of the world that are believed to have trampled human rights. He dismissed the notion that Pakistan had a tacit understanding with the US over the drones issues, saying “We are in touch with the United States to stop these strikes."
Asked about the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the spokesman said that Pakistan remained committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan, and had been facilitating the reconciliation process. About the fate of the Afghanistan's proposal to have a strategic partnership agreement (SPA), the spokesman said it was a welcome development and Islamabad was keenly waiting for Kabul to move forward with it. On the status of Pakistani militant commander Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, the spokesman said that he remained in the custody of the Afghan government.
Asked whether any concern raised by the foreign diplomats during a briefing arranged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a few days ago about the upcoming elections in Pakistan, Aizaz Chaudhry told the media they were mainly interested in the procedure. He said that issuance of visas to foreigners for observing the election process in Pakistan was underway. He said foreign diplomats were given comprehensive briefing by representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Information and Broadcasting and the Election Commission and were told that the government was committed to free, fair and transparent elections.
He said the European Union had approached the Foreign Office for sending observers and this request was under process. "We have not received any request from India in this respect," he added. When the spokesman’s attention was drawn toward the brutal killing of Pakistanis in South Africa, he said “our embassy has raised the issue with the authorities concerned that perpetrators of the crime should be brought to justice”. He said police had made some progress by apprehending a suspect. He said most of the martyred persons belonged to Chakwal, except one from Sheikhupura. He said efforts were being made to transport their bodies to Pakistan.
The spokesman declined to comment when asked about the status of former Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar accompanying President Asif Zardari on his visit to Turkmenistan.