ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Pakistan towards the end of July to discuss bilateral relations, situation in the region and other subjects of mutual interest, the Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said on Friday.
Giving details of the visit of John Kerry in his weekly press briefing, Chaudhry said that the exact dates and agenda of the visit are being finalised by the two countries.
Kerry was scheduled to visit Pakistan at the end of June, but engagements over the developing situation in Syria and the Middle East meant that the visit was pushed forward.
Replying to a question, he said that drone strikes constitute a breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty, violation of international law and human rights besides being counter-productive to the fight against terror.
He said that the issue has been taken up with the United States and would also be taken up again in forthcoming contacts with America.
Afghan army chief’s comments
The spokesperson, while commenting on Afghan Army Chief’s statement accusing Pakistan of controlling the Taliban, said that Pakistan is sincere in its efforts to see return of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“The best route to achieve peace and stability is a robust reconciliation process for which Pakistan is willing to extend every possible help,” he said.
Chaudhry hoped that the sincerity of Pakistan will be appreciated and reciprocated and that negative statements avoided.
Ties with India
Answering a question, he said that former Foreign Secretary Shahryar Ahmad Khan has been asked by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to conduct Track-II diplomacy with India, something for which he is already in India.
Chaudhry said that Track-II diplomacy has always been part of the overall peace process with India, complementing and supporting efforts for peace wherever they were possible.
Replying to a question on reports of the Indian Border Security Force facilitating militants entering Pakistan, the spokesperson said that the two countries have a border management mechanism and contact each other whenever need arises.
He, however, said that Pakistan expects that its policy of having good neighbourly relations with India would be reciprocated from the other side.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan and China have signed eight agreements and MoUs during the current visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to that country.
Chaudhry said that these include a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Pak-China Economic Corridor which envisages an establishment of a ministerial-level joint cooperation committee and joint working groups for formulating a long term plan for an economic corridor and the promotion of infrastructure.
The spokesperson said that other documents signed on Friday include an agreement on economic and technical cooperation; a letter of exchange on anti-polio equipment; a letter of exchange for a bilateral training course on textile management and flood relief; an MoU on the cooperation between Communist Party of China and PML(N); cooperation between the Chinese Centre for Contemporary World Study and Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad; an agreement on a Pakistan-China cross border cable system and an agreement between the Punjab Government and the ZTE Corporation of China.