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Transcript of Weekly Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (January 09, 2020)

January 10, 2020

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Namaskar, good afternoon and welcome to this weekly briefing. I have a read out on the visit of a group Heads of Foreign Missions based in Delhi to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

A group of 15 resident Heads of Foreign Missions are on a two day visit to the UT of Jammu & Kashmir. This is today and tomorrow. The visit is being facilitated by Government of India. The envoys who are part of the group are from United States, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Fiji, Maldives, Norway, Philippines, Morocco, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Guyana and Togo.

I’ll just briefly give you a sense of the program today.

Question: Can you please repeat the name of the countires?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: United States, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Fiji, Maldives, Norway, Philippines, Morocco, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Guyana and Togo.

On their program since their arrival today morning, the first meeting was with the security officials, to get a sense of security situation in Jammu & Kashmir and also the threat posed by terrorism in maintaining peace and security in the Union Territory. This was followed by an interaction with civil society members from all walks of life who came from all over the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The group also interacted with the local media which was followed by an interaction with several political leaders.

Tomorrow they proceed to Jammu and tomorrow where they will have few meetings in Jammu before returning to Delhi.

The objective of the visit was for the envoys to see firsthand, the efforts which have been made by the government to normalize the situation and also basically to see how things have progressed and how the normalcy has been restored to a large extent since the developments related to Article 370 in August and there have been several steps which have been taken by local administration towards that objective. The program was drawn up keeping in mind the security threat posed by terrorists and therefore adequate precautions were taken while chalking out the program. The visit was organized based on request which we have received in the past from several envoys who are based here. They wanted to visit Jammu & Kashmir. Our consistent position which we have taken in the past is that we will organize a visit only if we are satisfied based on input from the local administration on the prevailing security situation.

So this was the readout.

Now I open the floor to questions. First, I will take all the questions on this topic and then we will subsequently move to other topics.

Question: Sir aapne kahaa political netaaon se bhi baatcheet huii to kaun wo tamaam netaa they jinse in logon ki mulaqat huii?

(You mentioned that they had a meeting with political leaders, so who all were these political leaders whom they met?)

Question: Will there be more such visits especially when it comes to the European Union envoys can we expect to also go in near future?Question: Is visit ko lekar jab planning huiii uske baad kya security situations wahaan par rahe khastaur par kya threat perception rahaa, kya kisi aatankwaadi gut ki taraf se ye bhi inputs miley ki jo visit hai usko threat ho sakta hai, aatanki hamle ka koi threat ho sakta hai?(When the visit was planned, what was the security situation after that and especially what was the threat perception? Did we receive any inputs from any terrorist group that there could be threat to during the visit?)Question: Have the envoys also sought meetings with the jailed leaders Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and are such meetings being organized? We believe two or three more such trips would be organized, is that correct?Question: Khabar ye aa rahi hai ki EU ke jo diplomats they unhone manaa kiyaa, wo jyada azaadi ke saath wahaan jaanaa chaahte they kisi guided tour ke muqable, is par aapka kya kahna hai?

(There are reports that EU diplomats said no to the visit because they wanted to visit with more freedom rather than being in a guided tour, what do you have to say about this?)

Question: What was the basis of the formation of this group because it was said that it was meant to be more broad-based which is why there could be a separate group of EU envoys who will be taken later, but just wanted to understand what was the basis of, was it just request, scheduling issues and certain envoys not being able to make it to the group?

Question: Just a follow up the previous question, what was the criterion for selection? US is there among the P5 but Russia is not there which is very close to India and which has supported India on Kashmir and Britain and France I can understand because of the EU criteria, but what about China, was there any invitation extended to China as well?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Let me take these questions first and then I will come to the second round. On the political leaders who attended this meeting, the visit is not yet over you see. Some of the details of the visit will be shared later. Infact, we are not sharing too many details. We just gave you a sketch of the program, more details will come once the visit concludes. You must have seen some visuals which played on television but more details of the visit, who exactly were there as part of the civil society meeting, who were there at the political level meeting, we will give those details to you, we will try to share it with you once the visit is over.

On more such visits for EU, I think there are two similar questions. I think I need to correct a perception that the EU ambassadors did not go because they thought that it was a guided tour. Our understanding is very different. One is that we wanted this group to be broad-based and there were restrictions in numbers. You cannot take too large a number when you are moving and organizing meetings, so we wanted this group to be a manageable size. We also wanted this group to represent different geographical regions and that is how we had tried to select which of course means that subsequently we will try to organize similar visits to Jammu & Kashmir.

On EU, when we approached them, they welcomed the decision because many of their ambassadors themselves had requested for a visit to Jammu & Kashmir. Our understanding is that they wanted to visit in a group and you are aware that on many issues they take a group position. The invitation was not sent to all the members of the group because it would have made the group really big. We were also told by some of the members that this was being organized at a short notice. At no stage did we tell them that a certain meeting can’t be organized etc. We told them very clearly that look the situation at this point of time is such and in fact ambassadors are aware at this point of time about the threat perception from terrorists. I did mention in my readout as well. So when we tried to design this program we kept that aspect in mind and the reports which I have got from Srinagar, I think they are quite positive. The interactions have been quite frank. We are actually looking at the possibility of organizing a visit by the EU ambassadors at a future date. Let’s see how that works out.

On threat perception, you see you know about the security situation in the region and as I mentioned that the security forces were taking all adequate steps which were necessary when a high profile delegation is visiting from here.

The basis of formation of group, I did mention that the idea was to kind of broad-base it to include ambassadors and representatives from different regions. I also said that if necessary, at a future date, similar visits could be organized. We will also get inputs from the ambassadors who are visiting now and see if we can include some of the inputs received by them in any future program which we organize.

Question: (Inaudible)

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: As I mentioned that look the program was designed keeping in mind several factors and basically we went by the assessment made by the local authorities but I think I did mention to some of you that there was no specific demand that such and such meeting has to be organized. We told them and they realized that this is a beginning, we were making a beginning. After almost five months we were taking this group to Jammu & Kashmir to and I think there was an appreciation that this was being organized. I am sure that with progressive normalization of the situation, more interaction, more free interaction could be organized by visiting ambassadors from Delhi. Please try to understand that this is a beginning, this is the first time we did it but if from the experience which we gain from this visit and if there is a progressive normalization in the situation, my sense is that we can have more such programs, much freer interaction with a cross-section of the society in Jammu & Kashmir.

Question: ………….. Inaudible……………

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:
No, that is what I am saying. I think there are a number of countries who are not here, I mean if you ask me to pin point why this country was there and that country was not there. Not just P5, as I mentioned look, this is not the one-off visit. There was a constraint of numbers and since it was happening at a short notice, it may not have been possible for some ambassadors to kind of get the clearance from the headquarters and there could be different reasons as well, like scheduling problems. The number which we had was just the right number and we will see how to conduct such programs in the future. I think it is important to understand that if we see a progressive normalization, if we move towards more normalcy and if that is taken into account in the programming aspect, we are going to see perhaps more diverse interaction with the groups which will visit Jammu & Kashmir.

Question: Did the EU countries express their reservations on being taken on a so-called guided tour?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Uske baare me main ye bataanaa chaahunga ki jo ye khabar chal rahaa thaa ki wo nahi jaanaa chaahte hain kyonki ye ek guided tour hai, wo khabar galat hai aur galat isiliye hai kyonki hamaari jo soch thi, humne kuch EU ambassadors ko invite kiya thaa kyonki hum ek saath sabko invite nahi kar sakte they, hamaare paas numbers ka restriction thaa. EU ambassadors ne is initiative ko welcome bhi kiyaa thaa aur kahaa thaa bahut achha initiative hai lekin uske saath-saath ye bhi thaa ki EU ambassadors group mein jana chaahte they aur unka group kaafi badaa hai aur hamein ye bhi pataa chalaa ki kuch aise ambassadors hain jo is short notice ke kaaran nahi jaa paa rahe hain to isi chakkar mein hamne kahaa ki chaliye aagey dekhate hain, agar aisa koi visit hum aagey plan kar sakein to usmein hum isko accommodate kar lenge. (Regarding that I would like to tell you that the news which says that they did not want to go as it was a guided tour, that news is incorrect and it is incorrect because as per our restrictions of we invited few EU ambassadors and could not invite all the diplomats of EU. EU ambassadors also welcomed this initiative and along with that they also mentioned that they would like to go in one group, and their group is quite big. We also came to know that there are certain ambassadors who were unable to go because of short notice. And that is the reason we said, let’s see, if we are able to plan such a visit in near future we will accommodate them.)

Question: What is the way if some foreign tourist wants to go there, can they go and if some foreign diplomats want to go there on a private visit, can they go?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Regarding foreign tourist, you must have seen the notification by Jammu & Kashmir administration that they opened it for foreign tourists I think few months back and the foreign tourists have been visiting.

Question: Do they need any permission?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: No, they don’t need any permission. Yes, I think there are restrictions in terms of certain category of foreign tourists, they have to seek approval before they visit. They are aware about the situation there and that is why it is advisable that they keep us in the loop.

Question: 5 August ke baad kuch aise countries the jo kaafi vocal rahe hain government ke faisle ko lekar jismein China, Malaysia aur Turkey shaamil hain. To kya bhavishya mein unko bhi approach kiyaa jaayega ki wo bhi jaakar dekhein ki actual mein haalaat kaise hain?

(After August 5, there are certain countries like China, Malaysia and Turkey which have been very vocal about Kashmir issue. So in future will they be invited so they can also go there and see the conditions for themselves?)

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Bhavishya mein kya hoga ye main bhi nahi jaantaa hoon. Abhi ek visit huii hai, inko hum kal aa jaane dete hain, aur inse humko kya inputs miltey hain usko dekhate hain. Aagey kuch aur visits karenge, usmein kaun hoga, kya hoga, kitne log aayenge, kitne log last minute nahi aayenge, dekhate hain aagey. Abhi to ek ho jaane deejiye.

(What will happen in the future, no one can predict. Right now the first visit is ongoing, let them come back tomorrow and we must examine the inputs received from them. There will be more visits in future, who all will be included, how many of them will come, how many of them will not be able to join in the last minute, let us wait for all this, let the first visit conclude.)

Question: Only Srinagar?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: No, Srinagar today and they will be arriving in Jammu tonight and tomorrow the program is in Jammu and after that they come back to Delhi.

Question: Can you share the details regarding the Jammu component of this visit?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: For Jammu’s program, which is tomorrow, the inputs will be shared tomorrow.

Question: Can you please clarify if India has posed trade curbs on Malaysia for its comments on Kashmir, and if this trade curb which takes the form of restrictions on palm oil import, why is it hurting Nepal, Indonesia and Thailand, if it is meant for Malaysia?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I am sure you are referring to this notification, now if you see the notification it is not country specific, it is product specific. Please try to understand and I think when you are looking at the issue of pertaining to import of any product from any country, there are basically two factors. One is the commercial decision and the other could also be defined by the trade policy. So if you speak to the Commerce and Industry ministry you will get to know that there are basically three different categories under which you can import items. One is the open category, the other is restricted and the third is the prohibited. This is not under the prohibited category. So why do you presume that this means that imports will be stopped. It is just that there would be certain procedures put in place and there are hundreds of products under this category. At the same time, for any commercial trading, the status of relationship between any two countries is naturally any business would look at before they get into trading.

Question Contd.: So you are saying that since the status of relationship is…

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I am not saying anything. I am saying that that happens to be a factor. If I am an importer and I have to import a certain product from a country I of course would keep that at the back of my mind as to how the status of relationship between two countries are but in this particular case since this is a notification issued by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, how the whole thing is going to play, this is something which they would be able to explain to you in a much better manner because there are processes involved in the conduct of trade now and which they should be able to answer.

Question: My question is again related to palm oil. Due to this restriction Nepal’s export will be badly affected. In total exports of Nepal palm oil is 24-25 percent. Is there any space to talk with the Nepal government?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I think we are again looking too much into the future. As I mentioned and if you look at the notification very carefully you will realize that this is not country specific, it is product specific. Again I am sharing with you that it does not mean that this has been put under prohibited list, this is under restricted category. So let us not jump to conclusions that due to this how the trade is going to be affected. So we will have to wait and see but as I said that matters related to trade policy etc. are governed by Ministry of Commerce and I think they will be able to better explain the nuances involved under this policy.

Question: Yesterday, Iranian Ambassador while addressing a press conference said that the Chabahar project will go on. At the same time he said that any peace initiative from India will be welcomed. So looking at the relations with Iran and also with U.S. is there any kind of move towards this.

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I am sure there are questions on this.

Question: Any guideline or any advisory to the Indian carrier to use Iran, Iraq and Persian Gulf air space?

Question: Bahut saare Indians bhi hain wahaan par, kya unke evacuation plan par bhi aap log kaam kar rahe hain agar escalation hota hai to?

(Many Indians are also there, are you working on their evacuation plan if there is any escalation?)

Question: Iranian Foreign Minister was schedule to come to Delhi next week to attend the Raisina Dialogue, is he coming?

Question: Iran ki taraf se kahaa gayaa ki agar Bharat koi bhi madhyasthata karta hai to wo swagat karega.

(It has been said from Iran side that if India mediates then they will welcome the move.)

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I will start with the first question on this matter because I think that will cover our position at this time. Number one, we are very closely monitoring the situation which is developing rapidly as there are changes taking place. Number two, as we have articulated in the past, peace, security and stability in the region is of utmost importance to us. We have important interests in the region and we would like the situation to de-escalate as quickly as possible. We are talking to several stakeholders who are in the region. External Affairs Minister has spoken to the players in the region, he has spoken to the Foreign Minister of Iran, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Jordan. He had also had discussions with his counterpart from the U.S. and exchanged perspectives on the situation. SO yes, we are monitoring the situation and we will see how it develops in the next few days.

On the comment by the Iranian ambassador, he issued a clarification. He didn’t say what exactly he meant and therefore now it falls under the category of hypothetical question otherwise I would have been forced to answer this question but at the same time in our interaction with foreign minister and others countries, we have already conveyed the importance and the priority that India attaches to peace, stability and security in the region. So I think you have to see our role and our discussions with others in that context.

Somebody asked about evacuation plans, if we realize and if we see that there is a necessity for doing that, it will be done. We are of course committed to the safety and security of Indian diaspora all over the world and also living in the region and as and when the situation demands an appropriate advisory will be issued and appropriate action will be taken. You must have seen that following developments in Iraq an advisory was issued for people who wanted to travel to Iraq and also Indian nationals who were in Iraq, so just to tell you that we are very closely keeping an eye on the situation.

Question: EAM had spoken to his counterparts from some countries, will EAM speak to ministers of other countries on the developments regarding Iran?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: That’s it, I mean this is according to the list that I have. So these are the countries with whom the External Affairs Minister spoke to. It doesn’t mean that this is the end of the conversation with other countries, I think in many cases you kind of schedule conversations subsequently as well which will happen as necessary.Air space ka dekhiye, ye bahut hi sanjeedaa maamla hai meri darkhwast hai ki aise maamlon mein aap jo iske authorized mantralay hain, usase aap information lein. Dekhiye aap kuch bhi likhenge is maamle mein, agar aap sutron ke hawaale se likhenge, source-based information likhenge, isase panic ho sakta hai, to meri ye salaah hai aur ye guzarish bhi hai ki aap iske mantralay jo hai Ministry of Civil Aviation aap unse contact karein, unse poochhein ki kya advisory aisi issue huii hai aur usii ke hisaab se apni news banaayein.

(Regarding air space, see this is a very serious matter so it would be my request that in such cases you must approach the authorized ministries for the correct information. See if you publish anything in this regard, citing source-based information that can create panic. So this is my suggestion and request too, that you much contact the ministry of civil aviation and ask them what advisory has been issued and then publish the news based on that information.)

Further, on Iran Foreign Minister's visit for Raisina Dialogue, to the best of my knowledge there is no change in the program. The program says that he is coming and that program stands, there is no change.

Question: Basically what is going to be the impact on Chabahar project specifically?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I think we will have to see. In the past US has shown understanding of the importance of Chabahar project to us and for continued connectivity to Afghanistan. It is also very much important in terms of providing economic assistance to Afghanistan and you must have said in the last several months, the two way traffic between India and Chabahar port has picked up. We appreciate the understanding of the US, how the whole thing is going to impact, I think this is again hypothetical, we will have to see. But we do appreciate the understanding shown by the U.S. in exempting Chabahar port from the sanctions.

Question: American President Donald Trump ne kal elaan kiya hai ki wo Iran ke khilaaf additional economic sanctions ka elaan kar rahe hain. Kya uspe Bharat ko koii clarity milii hai ki kya economic sanctions hain kya hune U.S. se maangi hain ki kya economic sanctions aagey honge aur Bharat ka us par kya asar pad sakta hai?

(American President Donald Trump has announced they will put fresh economic sanctions on Iran. Does India has any clarity on what are the fresh economic sanctions, have we asked US what could be the fresh economic sanctions and what will be their impact on India?)

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:
Dekhiye pehle to unko khud bataanaa padega kaun sa sanction hai. Ye Indian specific nahi hai aur aisi koi cheez nahi hai jo India ko directly asar karegaa. Unhone announce kiyaa hai, uske details wo pahle announce karenge ki ismein kya-kya include hoga aur fir hum dekhenge ki kis dhang se aur kya impact ho sakta hai. Mujhe lagta hai ki abhi it is a bit premature to comment. Sabse pahli baat to ye hai ki jo wahaan ke haalaat hain aur jo haalaat itni tezi se badal rahe hain, us par hamaari nazar hai. Wahaan ki shanti, wahaan ki sthirta aur wahaan ki security hamaare liye aur hamaare interest ke liye bahut important hai. Hamaare wahaan par apne interest hain us region mein, ye sabko pataa hai. Hum ye chaahenge ki jo wahaan ke haalaat hain, jitni jaldi ho sakey, wo normal ho jaayein, wo de-escalate ho jaayein.

Aapko pataa hogaa ki kaafi deshon se hamaari baatcheet chal rahi hai. Hamaare Foreign Minister apne counterpart se baat kar rahe hain, unki baatcheet Iran, UAE, Jordan aur Qatar ke Foreign Ministers se baat huii hai. Hamare Foreign Minister kii baat U.S. ke jo counterpart hain unse bhi huii hai. Aur jo haalaat hain wahaan par uske perspective mein kaafi exchange of views hua hai. To filhaal abhi yahi hai ki hum monitor kar rahe hain aur ummeed kar rahe hain ki jo situation hai wo jaldi normal ho jaaye.

(See, first they need to tell us what are the fresh sanctions. These are not India specific and there is nothing which will directly affect India. They have announced it and the details of which they have to announce first and then we will see how it can impact us. I think it is a bit premature to comment now.

Firstly, what is the current situation there and which is changing rapidly, we are monitoring it very closely. Peace, security and stability in that regions is very important for us and for our interests. Everybody knows that we have our own interests there. We would want that the situation there come to normal and de-escalate at the earliest.

You would be aware that we are in discussion with a lot of countries. Our Foreign Minister is discussing with his counterparts. Till now he has spoken to his counterparts in Iran, UAE, Jordan and Qatar. Our Foreign Minister has also spoken with his U.S. counterpart and there was exchange of views of the situation in that region. So right now the situation is that we are monitoring the developments very closely and we want that the situation returns to normal at the earliest.)

Question: Pakistan Prime Minister kuch comment kiye, inappropriate, over the JNU and Deepika incident. Kuch bolenge aap iske baare mein?

(Pakistan Prime Minister has made some inappropriate comment regarding Deepika and JNU, would you like to say anything on this?)

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Aap kyon poochhate hain, kyonki aap ye dekhiye ki ye unki aadat hai. Aapko pataa hai ki wahaan kya chal rahaa hai aur apna kaam chhod ke wo har baar India mei kya chal rahaa hai, doosare deshon mein kya chal rahaa hai, iske baare mein comment karna. Ye mujhe nahi lagta ki har baar unke har bayaan par mujhe tippanii karne kii jaroorat hai. Apne ghar mein dekhein, jo unke log hain, jo unki minorities hain, jo co-religionist hain, jinke khilaaf atyaachaar ho rahe hain unko sambhalein, unko justice de aur mujhe lagta hai jo incident hue, ek to Naankaanaa Sahib mein jo hua aur jo hamaare jo Sikh youth they, unki jo jaan gaii wo unke liye ek aaina hai ki jo doosare ko lecture karte rahte they ki kya karna hai wo unke liye ek aainaa hai.

(Why do you even ask about this as you can see that it is their habit. You are well aware what all is going on in Pakistan and rather than doing what they are supposed to do, they keep on commenting on what is going on in India or in other countries. I don’t think there is any need for me to comment on every statement which he makes. He must look into his own home, the minorities in his country and the co-religionists there against whom atrocities are being done in his own country and he should ensure that justice is provided to them. I think the recent incident which happened in Naankaanaa Sahib and the loss of life of a Sikh Youth is a mirror for him who lectures others what should be done.)

Question: There was a meeting with our External Affairs Minister and the Sri Lankan foreign minister, any outcomes?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: The meeting concluded few hours ago. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Dr. Dinesh Gunawardhane is on a two day visit. He arrived yesterday, he is here today, he is leaving tomorrow. This was Sri Lankan Foreign Minister’s first overseas visit since he assumed this position. Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale called on him today morning and that was followed by a very comprehensive substantive meeting with the External Affairs Minister.

This visit comes closely on the heels of the visit of their President to India. As far as the discussions go, it revolved around the bilateral economic projects and there are quite a few on the table, on India’s development assistance, on human resource development cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. At the same time EAM did take up the matter of Indian fishermen and boats which are in the custody of Sri Lanka. We were told by the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister that as announced by the Sri Lankan President during his visit that all the boats, and the number of boats at this point of time there are 52 boats, they will be released. We understand from the conversation that the process to release the boats is ongoing and I think that should happen very soon. We are also engaged with the Sri Lankan government to ensure a speedy release of 15 Indian fishermen who are still in their custody.

Question: 2020 ko lekar Pakistan lagaataar koshish kar rahaa thaa ki wo Khalistan agenda ko aagey badhaaye, lekin jo shuruaat mein jo incident hue hain khastaur par Naankaanaa Saahib mein aur Peshawar mein tarah se Sikh youth ka killing hua hai. Aapko lagta hai ki isase ek badaa jhatka lagaa hai Pakistan ko ki Sikh ya yoon kahein ki minorities ko lekar Pakistan koi kadam nahi uthaaya unki suraksha ko lekar?

(For 2020 Pakistan has been continuously trying to promote the Khalistan agenda but the incidents that has happened recently especially in Naankaanaa Saahib and in Peshawar where a Sikh Youth was brutally killed. Do you think this has given a big blow to Pakistan that Sikh or we should say minorities, Pakistan has not taken any steps for their security?)

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Dekhiye, ye jo agenda thaa Pakistan ka, ye shuru se hi success honewalaa nahi thaa. Humne pahle bhi kahaa hai ki jo Khalistan ka agenda hai aur jo Pakistan isko koshish karta hai baahar de deshon mein, apne desh mein bhi, ye ek fringe elements hain. But ye hamein pataa hai uske saath saath ki Sikh community ki jo majority hai wo hamaare saath hai. Wo ismein believe karti hai ki kaise aapas mein saath rahein, peacefully rahein. Isiliye mujhe nahi lagta hai ki us agenda mein kabh bhi dum thaa aur jahaan tak incidents ka sawaal hai, wo jaahir si baat hai ki jo desh apne desh ki minorities ka khyaal nahi kar sakta hai, apne unke desh mein jo Sikh community hai uska khyaal kar sakta hai to ye doosare logon ko kya bataayega, doosare deshon ko kya bataayega ki kaise khyaal rakhanaa hai.

(See, this agenda of Pakistan was not going to be success from the beginning itself. We have said it earlier also that this agenda of Khalistan which Pakistan tries to promote in other countries and in his own country, these are just fringe elements. And along with that we also know for sure that the majority of Sikh community is with us. They believe in peaceful co-existence. Therefore I believe that that particular agenda of Pakistan never had anything real. And as far as incidents are concerned so it is clearly evident that the country which cannot take care of it’s own minorities, the Sikh minority which is there in their own country what can such a country preach to other countries about taking care of minorities in any country.)

Question: How would you describe the status of India-Malaysia ties at this point?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar
: Look, I think in the past there have been statements made by the Malaysian Prime Minister on which we have reacted very strongly. We have told them that we have age old ties, you know that our relationship go back very long and we have had very good relations, we have told them that they should keep in mind the sensitivities which we have on some of these topics. Unfortunately despite our statements we keep on getting similar statements coming out from their side. We do hope that at some stage they will realize that this is not the appropriate thing to do.

Question: Has there been any fresh scheduling of the visit of the Japanese Prime Minster Mr. Shinzo Abe?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: No, the answer is the same as in the last briefing. We are in touch through diplomatic channels. As and when there are fresh dates, there is a procedure and we will announce the visit.

Question: Just want you to clarify what restricted list is?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:
I can do that but it is best that this is addressed to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This notification is also from them but to my understanding as a layman, there are three types of lists. One is open, the other is restrictive and the third is prohibitive. And depending on the kind of product it falls into one of these categories.

Thank you so much all for joining.

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