FO rules out Jadhav’s immediate execution

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said convicted Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav would not be executed anytime soon as he had not exhausted the mercy appeals.

Addressing a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and mother should not be considered his last as his mercy plea was pending before army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Faisal said Jadhav could later also file another mercy appeal before President Mamnoon Hussain.

“Pakistan decided to permit the meeting of the wife of Commander Jadhav with him purely on humanitarian grounds. The Indian side subsequently also requested that the mother may accompany the wife. Pakistan has accepted the Indian request. Pakistan has issued visas to both the ladies. The meeting will be held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We await further details from India in this regard. Pakistan is ready to permit media interaction with the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav. We await Indian decision in this regard,” he said.

To a question on the possible immediate execution of Jadhav and this being his last meeting with his family, he said: “Let me assure you that the commander is under no threat of immediate execution and his mercy petitions are still pending. The mother and wife of Commander Jhadav are being provided with a meeting with him in the light of Islamic traditions and based purely on humanitarian grounds.”

Faisal said Pakistan had had a huge diplomatic success as in the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process conference this month in Baku, the members agreed to drop the list, which named alleged Pakistan-based militant groups.

He said ever since a list of selected proscribed groups made it to the outcome document (Amritsar Declaration) of HoA-IP Ministerial Conference in December 2016, India celebrated it as a huge diplomatic success over Pakistan and started misusing the list for political point scoring against Pakistan.

“We had with positive intent agreed to the list to be a part of the Amritsar Declaration. However, the subsequent Indian behaviour, trying to use the listing of these groups to malign Pakistan forced Pakistan to suggest a comprehensive list – of all terrorist groups irrespective of their ideology, religion and geography,” Faisal said.

He said that in the recently held HoA-IP Conference in Baku on December 1st, Pakistan emphasised the principle that selective listing should be avoided and all terrorist groups should be condemned.

Due to Pakistan’s effective and successful diplomacy, the HoA-IP member countries agreed to drop the selected list from the Baku Declaration, and referred the matter to the working group on counter-terrorism to come up with a comprehensive list of all terrorist groups in the Heart of Asia region.

Faisal said Pakistan had decided to release and repatriate 291 Indian fishermen in two phases on December 29 and January 8 via Wagah Border as a goodwill gesture on humanitarian grounds.

Earlier, he said, Pakistan had also released 68 Indian fishermen on October 27.

Pakistan has always maintained that humanitarian issues should be facilitated and not politicised, Faisal said.

He said a “malicious campaign” against Pakistan’s role in the war on terror had been launched.

“The Afghan soil, despite substantial US presence, is being constantly used by elements hostile to Pakistan’s stability. Pakistan’s efforts and sincere proposals for effective border management to prevent cross-border movement of militants and return of Afghan refugees are yet to make any headway. On the other hand, a malicious campaign is under-way to undo Pakistan’s achievements in the war against terrorism,” Faisal added.

Counting Pakistan’s reconstruction works in Afghanistan, he said Pakistan had established three tertiary care hospitals in Afghanistan at Jalalabad, Kabul and Nangarhar.

“To ensure optimal utilisation and sustainability of these facilities, the very important component of ‘training of health professionals” was incorporated in the project. 69 Afghan health professionals, including doctors, nurses and para-medics have so far been trained in Pakistan,” Faisal said.

To a question, he said Jerusalem had a special status called “corpus separatum” (separate body) under the UN General Assembly’s Partition Plan for Palestine (Resolution 181, dated November 1947).

“There are a number of UN resolutions recognising the special legal and political status of Jerusalem, in particular Resolution 476 and 478, piloted by Pakistan as chair of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation,” he said.

Pakistan, Faisal said, viewed the decision of the US administration to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to shift the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

On replacing dollar with yuan in trade with China, Faisal said the Long Term Plan for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was finalised during the seventh Joint Coordination Committee meeting held in Islamabad on November 21st.

“It provides the conceptual framework for [the] CPEC. It is a national plan approved by both the Chinese and Pakistan governments. The major areas of cooperation include connectivity, energy, trade and industrial parks, agricultural development and poverty alleviation, tourism, people’s livelihood and exchange programmes and financial cooperation,” he said.

 “On the proposal to use Chinese yuan, the two countries aim to promote monetary cooperation between the central banks, implement existing bilateral currency swap arrangements, research to expand the amount of currency swap and explore to enrich the use and scope of bilateral currency swap; assign the foreign currency to domestic banks through credit-based bids to support the financing for projects along the CPEC; for third-party currency; strengthen the cooperation (RMB and rupees) to reduce the demand [of] financial regulatory agencies of the two countries,” he explained.

The two sides, Faisal said, would actively use bilateral currencies for the settlement of bilateral trade and investment under the relevant arrangements.

Faisal said there was an ongoing debate within the Nuclear Suppliers Group regarding the criteria which should apply to non-members of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty applicants.

 

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