Discussion On Kashmir Part Of Composite Dialogue Process: FO

10 April 2008
Associated Press of Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute will be the main part of the composite dialogue between Pakistan and India and it will be an important issue in the review meetings of the 4th round of talks being held here next month. “Pakistan believes that focus needs to be on the resolution of the core dispute of Kashmir which has caused so much suffering to Kashmiri people in the Indian held Kashmir,” said the Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq at his weekly briefing. He expressed the hope that Kashmir issue will be resolved as soon as possible. The spokesman said Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet in Islamabad on May 20 and 21 for the review of the 4th round of Pak-India Composite Dialogue process. He said during 2007 talks on all eight segments of the Composite Dialogue were held covering the subjects of peace and security including CMBs, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wuller Barrage, terrorism and drugs trafficking, economic and commercial cooperation and promotion of friendly exchanges. The review meetings being held in Islamabad next month will help the two sides to assess the progress made in the fourth round of the talks. Replying to a question to establish Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Kashmir, the spokesman said efforts should be made to resolve the core dispute of Kashmir and such Commission could be established. The spokesman said Pakistan has not received any reaction from the world after lifting some of the restrictions on A. Q. Khan and allowing him to meet his relatives and friends. He said, “The A. Q. Khan chapter is closed and no country has approached Pakistan on this issue.” Referring to statement of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi about allowing A.Q. Khan to meet his relatives and go to any restaurant, the spokesman said no country has reacted to such concessions. Commenting on the published reports of an Afghan official showing concern over disposal of nuclear waste, the spokesman said, “Pakistan has taken up the matter with the Afghan Foreign Office which neither confirmed the statement of their Parliamentary Affairs Minister nor commented upon it.” The spokesman said the allegations that Pakistan had dumped the nuclear waste are baseless and demonstrate ignorance. He said if the Afghan government has any doubts, Pakistan would suggest that it should invite experts from IAEA to inspect the site where nuclear waste is allegedly dumped. The spokesman said the international experts could verify if the waste is there. Since nuclear waste carry distinct signatures, the experts could also verify its origin, he added. “Disposal of nuclear waste in Pakistan is strictly regulated in accordance with the international standards,” said the spokesman. He said, “Our nuclear power stations are under IAEA safeguards which not only keep an oversight on their operations but also on storage of nuclear waste which has to be fully accounted for.” Replying to a question on Olympic torch, the spokesman said sports event of Olympic games should not be politicized and its journey should be continued without any trouble. He said Olympic torch is coming to Pakistan and there is no fear of any disturbance on this occasion. Answering a question, the spokesman said President Musharraf’s visit to China is very important as the two countries have very strong and friendly relations and it was part of high level exchange of visits between the two countries.