Monday May 27, 2024

Preparations afoot for Trump’s visit

In his weekly briefing with the media here, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said Pakistan will grant consular access to convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav on Friday (today) but the timeand place was not disclosed due to security constraints.

By Mariana Baabar
August 02, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Thursday announced that details of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Pakistan were being worked out.

Trump had agreed to visit Pakistan in reply to an invitation extended to him by Prime Minister Imran during his recent visit to the United States.

In his weekly briefing with the media here, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said Pakistan will grant consular access to convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav on Friday (today) but the time and place was not disclosed due to security constraints.

Pakistan took this step after it was told to do so by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a ruling passed in response to a request by India. “We have offered the Indian High Commission to avail themselves of consular access this Friday. The reply from the Indian side is awaited,” said the spokesman.

Indian External Affairs Ministry (EAM) Spokesman Raveesh Kumar confirmed that they had received a proposal from Pakistan.

"We have received a proposal from Pakistan. We are evaluating the proposal in the light of [the] ICJ judgment," he said, adding that Delhi will "maintain communication with Pakistan in this matter through diplomatic channels".

This is the first time that Jadhav will have access to Indian officials. Last year he was able to meet with his mother and wife though Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh was present further back in the room and not allowed to converse with the prisoner.

The Foreign Office says it is still in the process of a decision on whether Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend the UNGA meet next month in New York. He himself was reluctant to attend last year saying it would take up too much time. But with President Trump himself bringing in the issue of Occupied Kashmir centre stage by offering to mediate, there are chances that Khan would attend.

A meeting with Trump with whom he got on very well cannot be ruled out. “We can only inform the UNGA about the PM‘s visit once final decisions have been taken. President Trump raised the issue of mediation about the Jammu and Kashmir dispute saying that the Indian prime minister had requested him for it. We have welcomed his offer. We look forward to positive developments and resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute as per the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of Kashmiri people,” said the spokesman.

Prime Minister Imran Khan termed it a ‘monumental’ success of the foreign policy that President Trump raised the issue of Kashmir and expressed his desire to mediate and help to resolve this dispute.

“This is a very positive development. We will certainly follow it up actively,” said the spokesman. With the United States and the Taliban hopefully coming to a final agreement in Doha this week, Pakistan says it has been facilitating the peace process and talks with the Taliban in good faith and as a shared responsibility of the international community to bring peace, security and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan is personally committed to the Afghan peace process. We will continue stressing for a comprehensive all-inclusive Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, and in this regard we are working with all stakeholders. Matters related to the visit of the Taliban, as announced by the prime minister, are being finalised,” he added.

Pakistan maintains that Intra-Afghan talks are internal political matters of Afghanistan and it would continue to support an outcome acceptable to all Afghans in line with the efforts made by the US and international community.

“As the talks are continuing, we must not prejudge the conclusions”, he said. As the Modi government sent additional deployment of 10,000 troops into Srinagar, and Farooq Abdullah and Omer Abdullah rushed to Delhi to meet with Prime Minister Modi, Pakistan says “these measures are interpreted by Kashmiris to mean that the ground is being prepared to counter the fallout after the possible abolition of Article 35-A and 370 which grant special status to the IHK”.

Reportedly, added the spokesman, local sources referring to the Indian railways authority’s decision to purchase and store rations for at least a week’s consumption to meet any crisis situation, which may arise from a possible abrogation of Article 35A, is an indication that the security situation in IHK is likely to deteriorate further.

“Pakistan has consistently rejected Indian attempts to further try to integrate IHK through the so-called Articles 370 and 35A and maintains that it is in stark violation of the UNSC resolutions,” he said.