ISLAMABAD - Pakistan said Thursday there are five Pakistanis among the detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the United States is willing to repatriate them to Pakistan.
“Out of 140 Pakistanis detained at Guantanamo Bay, now there are only five,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told weekly press briefing, identifying them as Saif Ullah Piracha, Majid Khan, Ghulam Ahmed Rabbani, Muhammad Ahmed Rabbani and Amar Ali Baloshi.
Replying to a question, she said, Pakistan has not changed its foreign policy vis a vis its neighbouring and Muslim countries. She said Pakistan did not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and organisations like Gulf Cooperation Council, and no country has asked Pakistan for military help for its internal affairs. Islamabad, she said, has clarified its position on many occasions regarding speculative stories in international media.
About giving more concessions in trade between Pakistan and India, the spokesperson clarified that Pakistan had some concerns and it has been asking India for their redress. She said after redressing these concerns, Pakistan will allow more concessions to India for promoting bilateral trade.
Tasnim however emphasised the need that both India and Pakistan should resolve all the issues including core issue of Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachin through dialogue for enduring peace. Referring to a statement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, she said that Pakistan did not want to enter the arms race in the region and asked the regional countries to join hands for poverty alleviation from the region.
Commenting on a statement of Afghan Mashtan Jirga, the spokesperson rejected the allegations of the Jirga saying that Pakistan is the worst victim of terrorism in last three decades. She said the world knew about sacrifice of over 40,000 lives, including that of security personnel, in the fight against terrorism as Pakistan is sincerely working in this fight and helping the international community.
To another question, she said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be attending Nuclear Safety Summit beginning in The Hague from Monday next. Responding to yet another question, FO spokesperson said Pakistan being a responsible nuclear state takes its responsibility about nuclear security very seriously. She pointed out that it has been agreed in the summit process that nuclear security is primarily the national responsibility.
To a question about PM’s visit to Iran, she said the visit was also very much on the cards but the exact date has not been worked out. Commenting on the recently concluded visit of King of Bahrain, she said this visit would further enhance already strong relations between the two countries in various fields. She said both the countries signed a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) during the visit of King of Bahrain to Pakistan.
Replying to a question about the news published in the New York Times alleging that missing Malaysian Airline plane landed somewhere in Pakistan, the spokesperson said ISPR director general had already given a detailed reaction to that news item, declaring it unfounded and baseless. Rejecting the contents of the news item, the spokesperson said the story is based on speculations and baseless.
The spokesperson said stories of landing such a big plane at Pakistan’s remote airports is totally baseless as such big aeroplane could land at only few of the big airports in the country. She said like many other countries, Pakistan has also offered help and assistance to Malaysia in searching the plane. However, she said according to the data available from the radar system of Pakistan, the Malaysian plane has not been traced anywhere in the country.