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Transcript of briefing by Official Spokesperson on the meeting of External Affairs Minister with Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser of Pakistan Mr. Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of ASEM FMM11

November 12, 2013

Official Spokesperson: Good evening friends and thank you very much for being here. I will try and give you a flavour of the External Affairs Minister’s last bilateral engagement on the margins of the ASEM with Mr. Sartaz Aziz, the Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

As you are aware, External Affairs Minister had a series of bilateral engagements on the margins and this was his 20th meeting in the last two and a half days. Given that it was on the margins of the ASEM, it started with a sort of a review of what both of them felt regarding the outcomes of the ASEM meeting and subsequently, it went into bilateral issues.

It was for approximately 30 minutes and the principal focus of that meeting was to try and take on from where the last diplomatic engagement between India and Pakistan ended and that was the two Prime Ministers meeting in New York and the agreement between the two Prime Ministers that the pre condition for movement forward between India and Pakistan would be peace and tranquillity on the line of control. And therefore, there was a discussion on that matter and both agreed that it was important that the DGMOs should meet at an early date because that is what can take this further.

In addition, there were also discussions about other issues that we have raised on the agenda and these relate to the Mumbai trial.

Following this meeting Mr. Aziz also has another meeting planned and we will now take it from there based on the outcomes of what the two Ministers discuss of what would be the next steps. The DGMOs are in touch and we hope that they will take this process forward based on mutual discussions between the two country’s DGMOs.

I will open the floor if you would like to ask any questions.

Question: You mentioned that other meetings are planned, Mr. Aziz’s. What meetings are you referring to?

Answer: I don’t know whether I used the word plural. I think he is right now also having a meeting with his counterpart, the National Security Adviser, because Mr. Aziz handles both Foreign Affairs and National Security.

Question: Will he also have a meeting with Prime Minister later.

Answer: I am not aware of that.


Question: Is there any date for the DGMOs to meet.

Answer: What was discussed was ultimately the DGMOs report to the Army Chiefs and it’s for them to workout that, whenever they talk. They need to try and workout what would be the modalities of meeting at an early date.

Question: Sir, you said, you have reiterated that peace and tranquillity on the LOC is the precondition for the forward movement yet for the last 10 days there has been no firing on the line of control. Is this a positive thing that India would have considered?

Answer: The understanding is that the 2003 ceasefire should hold and that peace and tranquillity on the line of control is one of the most important CBMs both for India and for Pakistan. And if that holds, and the DGMOs concur with that and they meet and confirm that we will proceed further.

Question: Sorry to ask the same question again, was there any reason given in the conversation about why it’s been six weeks since the Prime Ministers actually said that DGMOs should meet. Why is it necessary for the Foreign Ministers to meet six weeks later and repeat that. Is there any reason for the non movement on that.

Answer: You know what happens on the border is best articulated by the sentinels of the border. They are in touch and I would suggest that this issue is posed to them. What I can articulate for you is what was discussed at the diplomatic level.

Question: What exactly did they discuss about the Mumbai trials?

Answer: Well, our view has been and we have indicated previously and this the External Affairs Minister did articulate again that as far as we were concerned, all the evidence that was required by the Judicial Commission was provided including transcripts etc., and this was acknowledged by the Pakistani side that they had received everything that they had asked for from us and now they are proceeding with the trial.

Question: Was the issue of Hafiz Saed and his speeches being raised by India.

Answer: Well this was half an hour meeting and all the list of issues on the agenda between India and Pakistan could be listed but the possibilities of discussing every issue may not arise and so we focused on those issues which followed from the last bilateral dialogue with Pakistan or subsequent developments like we have provided the information relating to the Mumbai trials and the transcripts etc. So these were the primary areas of focus.

Question: Sir, did the External Affairs Minister raise the issue of the Pakistan China Economic Corridor from Xinjiang to Gwadar because it runs through the POK.
Answer: Srinjoy, our position on this is well articulated. We have reiterated this on several times. We have raised it with both the parties previously and the last time I recollect raising with the Chinese was during the visit of Premier Li Keqiang to India. Our position is that the entire area of Jammu and Kashmir is Indian territory and therefore we hold a view on that which is well known and articulated very well previously.

Question: Did Mr. Khurshid raise this Hurriyat leaders meeting with Mr. Sartar Aziz.

Answer: Yes, he did raise this issue with his Pakistani counterpart and you have yourself heard what his views are on this and has himself provided the situational and contextual basis on this. He articulated a similar approach during his discussions with his Pakistani counterpart.

Thank you very much.



November 12, 2013

Click here for the video of this Media Interaction


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