ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Thursday said any elections in Indian Occupied Kashmir were not an alternative to the exercise of their right of self-determination.

This was stated by Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam while addressing a weekly press briefing. 

She was asked for her comments as to what was Pakistan’s stance on the elections taking place in the Indian Held Kashmir and how far these elections were an alternative to the right of self-determination.

The spokesperson said, “Absolutely not, and this is the position of the United Nations Security Council resolutions as well. Any elections in Occupied Kashmir are not an alternative to the exercise of their right of self-determination”. She termed Indian criticism on Pakistan’s institutions in connection with Hamid Mir’s episode as baseless saying those involved in propaganda should first look into their internal matters.

She said negative reporting in connection with Hamid Mir’s episode was done in the Indian media, which did not surprise Pakistan. She condemned attack on Mir and prayed for his speedy recovery. On Pakistan-Iran energy cooperation particularly import of electricity, Tasnim said international sanctions did not hurt this agreement as purchase of electricity from Iran was government-to-government agreement.

Regarding Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, she rejected the impression of termination of the project and said there were funding issues. About sanctions on this project, she said building of extensive infrastructure and international financing would take it to a category where international sanctions could be applicable.

Responding to a question about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Iran, the spokesperson said it would take place before 15th of next month. She said process of meetings between both the countries’ officials was in progress in order to make the visit substantial. She said visit of Iranian Foreign Minister was not on the cards, while the interior minister would visit Pakistan soon.

About the visit of US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan James Dobbins, the spokesperson said he would be holding meetings with the prime minister, advisor on foreign affairs and national security, interior minister and chief of army staff. She said Pakistan’s embassy in Washington during the past few months had extensively engaged James Dobbins who was US focal person. Tasnim said Dobbins would be sharing views with Pakistani leaders on matters of regional security, Afghanistan and our bilateral ties.

On India- Iran cooperation regarding energy, she said it was their bilateral matter.