ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan Thursday reiterated that it has always been ready to discuss all issues of bilateral concern with India including the issue of terrorism as part of the dialogue process.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry told a weekly press briefing that Pakistan has clarified repeatedly that its soil will not be used for any act of terrorism against any country including India. He said the two states have a mechanism to discuss the issue of terrorism. He added that Pakistan is in the process to prepare a new comprehensive anti-terror policy.

Answering a question, the spokesperson said the government was working to fix a date for a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. He said that the meeting would be “a useful opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue” and resume stalled peace talks.

Referring to the violation of ceasefire at the Line of Control, the spokesman said Pakistan has expressed its concern to India and hoped that New Delhi would respect the sanctity of 2003 ceasefire. He noted that Pakistan has always supported the policy of restraint, responsibility and dialogue in the larger interest of peace in the region. About delay in the visit of members of the Judicial Commission to India, the he said the delay was due to technical reasons and it would be rescheduled soon.

To another question, the spokesperson said that Pakistan has robust command and control system to ensure safety and security of nuclear installations and materials. “Pakistan has established extensive physical protection measures, robust command and control institutions; and comprehensive and effective export controls regulatory regimes to ensure safety and security of nuclear installations and materials.” He said a scheduled meeting of the National Command and Control Authority was held here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where he was briefed about the comprehensive security system.

Commenting on the reports regarding American surveillance and threat to Pakistan’s nuclear installations, the spokesman said, “We follow best international practices and standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure safety of nuclear installations. He said Pakistan is also committed to the objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation.

Commenting on a story published in the Washington Post, the spokesman Pakistan’s policy was characterised by restraint and responsibility. The spokesman said Pakistan was also fully engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues. He said that the US State Department has already issued a statement today (Thursday), which has vindicated Pakistan’s point of view on the report published in Washington Post regarding the nuclear issue.

He said, “The efficacy of our strategic export controls has been acknowledged by experts from the international export control regimes during interactions on various occasions.” He said Pakistan was a state party to both Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention and was fully implementing the two regimes. Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence capability was aimed at maintaining regional stability in South Asia, he added.

To a question, the spokesperson said besides other stakeholders, Pakistan’s ambassadors to China, Geneva and its Permanent Representatives in United Nations also attended the scheduled meeting of the National Command and Authority to review the security arrangements of nuclear installations.

Answering another question on Pak-US relations, he said both the countries are engaged in a multi dimensional cooperation. He said working groups will meet very soon so that the next round of strategic dialogue between the two countries could be held in January next. Regarding the release of Pakistani prisoners in Bagram, Afghanistan he said, “Islamabad is making sincere efforts for the release of these prisoners but the procedure is very complicated and long.”

Commenting on the latest situation in Syria, the spokesman expressing concern on the deteriorating situation said any military attack on Syria could have serious consequences and plunge the region into deeper conflict. He reiterating Pakistan’s position on Syria said all the parties should show restraint and resolve the issue through dialogue.

He said Pakistan always opposed to use of force to resolve the situation in Syria, adding that Pakistan has already condemned the use of chemical weapons there, adding that use of chemical weapons by any side is matter of grave concern. The spokesperson said report of the United Nations inspectors in this regard should be considered before taking any action.