Pakistan Denies Militant Training Camps In AJK
7 May 2007
Associated Press of Pakistan
Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday denied existence of any militants' training camps in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, saying the territory was open and the fact could be verified by anyone. 'There are no training camps. Azad Jammu and Kashmir is an open area and anyone can go there and see,' Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told the weekly media briefing. Commenting on the statement by former AJK President Sardar Abdul Qayyum the spokesperson said she saw his statement about seeking a safe passage for the militants, however pointed that Sardar Qayyum had denied that he had any information about the training camps. On Siachen, the spokesperson said a zone of peace could be established between Pakistan and India as part of the proposals to resolve the issue. 'If the two sides succeed in working out the agreement, it will be an important confidence building measure and an important development in the context of dispute resolution,' she said. The spokesperson said there were a number of proposals in the package to resolve Siachen issue which included the possibility of indicating the re-acquisition as well as the positions to which the troops should be relocated. About other issues like impending environmental catastrophe at Siachen, Ms Aslam said the resolution of issue would be an important step in saving the melting glacier, which should be priority for the two countries. The spokesperson termed speculative the report about Pakistan and India to conduct joint satellite surveillance in Siachen. About Pak- India Committee on Prisoners, Ms Aslam said Pakistan had asked India several times to make the committee functional as soon as possible, however no date had been proposed yet. She said Pakistan was greatly concerned about the plight of its prisoners languishing in Indian jails. During the upcoming meeting of foreign ministers to be held in Islamabad next week, the spokesperson said a number of issues confronting the Muslim world would be discussed such as Palestine, Kashmir, Islamophobia and disarmament. About the two-day visit of NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to Islamabad, the spokesperson said he would hold extensive dialogue with the leaders to consolidate political relations between the Alliance and Pakistan. To a question whether the issue of fencing at Pak-Afghan border would come under discussion with NATO Secretary General, Ms Aslam said 'We will not take up the question of fencing with anyone. This is our internal matter.' About a human rights watchdog report saying President Musharraf should step down as army chief, the spokesperson said it was for the people of Pakistan and not others to decide what was in accordance with the constitution.