Monday, 18 February 2019

Joint Statement between Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the Visit of HRH Crown Prince to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.


Joint Statement between Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the Visit of HRH Crown Prince to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Islamabad, February 18, 2019, SPA -- A Joint Statement between Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the Visit of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, was issued today, the following is the text:

Under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and at the invitation of His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, headed a high-level delegation of Ministers and businessmen, and paid an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan between 12-13/6/1440H corresponding to 17-18 February 2019.
The two sides reaffirmed the historical relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and the efforts of his wise government, specially its services to the millions of pilgrims who visit the two holy mosques every year. The Prime Minister also lauded the leadership of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for the development and investment files that would push the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a rapid progress and prosperity in view of its Vision 2030, which aims to put the Kingdom on the path of development in various fields.
HRH praised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s agenda of transforming Pakistan into a welfare state, based on Islamic socio-economic principles and assured him of the Kingdom’s continued support.
During the high-level discussions between the two sides, they applauded the growing momentum in their bilateral relations in all areas of cooperation, held wide-ranging discussions in a cordial atmosphere and expressed their satisfaction at strengthening the level of leadership communications between the two countries.
The Pakistani side appreciated the leadership and positive role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in resolving the issues facing Islamic Ummah worldwide. The Saudi side lauded Pakistan’s important positions in the Islamic world and its efforts for regional peace and security. Both sides noted with satisfaction their strong defence and security ties, and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this field to advance shared objectives.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan reiterated their commitment to continue combating extremism and terrorism and expressed their deep appreciation for the achievements and sacrifices made by the two sides in the war against terrorism. They also applauded the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in order to confront this serious scourge and called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to join all international efforts to combat global terrorism. They also underlined the need for avoiding politicization of UN listing regime.
The two sides expressed their hope for achieving a fair, comprehensive and long lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the resolutions of international legitimacy guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state based on internationally agreed standards 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital.
During the official talks in Islamabad, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense praised openness and efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for dialogue with India and the opening of the Kartarpur crossing point and the efforts exerted by both sides, stressing that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve outstanding issues.
The two sides agreed on the importance of political settlement and promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan so that millions of Afghan refugees in neighboring countries can return to their country and contribute to their development and lasting peace. The Saudi side appreciated Pakistan’s generous hosting of millions of Afghan refugees and other initiatives by Pakistan in the Afghan context.
With a view to enhancing bilateral relations in various fields, the two brotherly countries decided to establish a Joint Supreme Coordination Council between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, co-chaired by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense from the Saudi side, and by His Excellency the Prime Minister from Pakistani side for enhancing and institutionalizing the bilateral relations in various fields and take them to a higher level , and to hold its meetings in the two countries alternately.
The two sides agreed to make use of all available channels to promote bilateral trade, investment and promote communication between the two peoples and businessmen. The Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, which is now part of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council, shall facilitate bilateral trade in specific sectors and products. The two sides agreed to further strengthen measures to promote trade, participate in exhibitions and events, welcome business meetings from both countries, and encourage the private sector to take the lead in building a strong economic partnership between the two brotherly countries.
Highlighting the growing economic relations, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and the Prime Minister of Pakistan witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding. The total investment opportunities resulted in over USD 20 billion, which would increase the mutual investment and volume of trade between the two brotherly countries.
The Saudi side expressed its appreciation for the initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the conduct of business in the country and facilitate FDI in Pakistan. The Prime Minister called on Saudi Arabia to be a partner in economic growth and development in Pakistan.
His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense also praised the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan to develop the economic and social structure in Pakistan. He stressed the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will contribute to the development and prosperity of the region.
The two countries called to promote dialogue, respect and understanding among followers of different faiths to promote peace and interfaith harmony.
They strongly condemned the atrocities and human rights violations committed against Muslims around the world.
At the end of the visit, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense expressed his thanks to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for his warm hospitality and brotherly feelings which are not unusual for Pakistan and the Pakistanis. For his part, the Prime Minister expressed his best wishes to the health and wellness of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, hoping to visit Pakistan in the near future.
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SPA
16:15
LOCAL TIME 13:15 GMT
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Saturday, 16 February 2019

This is war, not terrorism, Editorial Indian Express


This is war, not terrorism, Editorial Indian Express

The military men who rule the Islamic Republic have never hesitated to admit that the jihadi groups they created were ‘assets’ in their unending war against India.

A question that has troubled me ever since Maulana Masood Azhar became one of the jihadist fiends we released in Kandahar 20 years ago is why he is still alive. Why was he along with the other monsters released in exchange for the passengers of IC 814 not killed immediately after they sped across the border into Pakistan? The military men who rule the Islamic Republic have never hesitated to admit that the jihadi groups they created were ‘assets’ in their unending war against India, so they would have no right to complain if we started destroying these assets by covert means. So why have we never done this? Could it be because we do not have the ability to do this? If not, why not?

When Narendra Modi became prime minister, he promised not to be as much of a wimp as the prime ministers before him. He used strong language to condemn their wimpy behaviour. After the attack on the military camp in Uri three years ago, there was that famous surgical strike. It was a tough immediate response. But, surely since then, there should have been time to build enough covert assets to conduct exactly the sort of war inside Pakistan that the Islamic Republic’s military rulers have been conducting on Indian soil for far too long? It is because India has not yet learned to fight this new kind of war that evil men like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar are still able to do what Jaish-e-Mohammad did last week in Pulwama.

These Pakistani ‘assets’ are religious fanatics who have a hatred for India that is visceral. In a memoir Masood Azhar wrote soon after being freed, he wrote of how the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Jaswant Singh, had offered him food and water on the flight that took him to Kandahar and how he had refused. “I did not want to sip even a drop of Indian water,” he wrote. He drank plenty of it when he spent years in Indian jails and to this day it makes no sense why nobody quietly poisoned that water while he was a guest of the Government of India. The other man who we should have been dealt with similarly was Omar Sheikh who was released in the same exchange. He also spent years in Indian jails.

If we can have special courts to try rapists, why do we not have special military courts to try jihadists? In ‘secular’ Congress times, this was not a question anyone could have asked without being labelled a hawk because senior Congress leaders were not even prepared to accept that the 26/11 attack was a Pakistani military operation. A former chief minister released a book whose title said that the RSS was behind the attack on Mumbai. And, the man who is now Congress president told an American ambassador he was more worried about Hindu terrorism than the jihadist kind.

So we learned to live with what we continue to wrongly call ‘Pakistani terrorism’.

It is not. It is war. When the surgical strike in 2016 was Modi’s response to the Uri attack, there was hope that Modi understood the need to fight back hard. Surgical strikes have their place but why are we not using the same tactics that the Pakistani army is using against India? If it is because we have not created the assets to do this, then shame on us. We need these assets more than we need Rafale fighter jets because there is unlikely to be another old-style war on our benighted subcontinent. There will not be that kind of war because the Pakistani military has proven that it is unnecessary when they can continue to deploy ‘assets’ like Masood Azhar.

So what happens now? With India on the verge of a general election, there is little time to do more than spout the kind of platitudes we heard from senior political leaders after the Pulwama attack. ‘The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain,’ tweeted the Prime Minister and the Home Minister echoed this sentiment. The Governor of Jammu & Kashmir accepted that there had been a major intelligence failure.

But is there nothing more we can do? Since we are in a state of undeclared war with Pakistan, surely we can, at the very least, break diplomatic relations. Is there any point in having an embassy in Islamabad when Pakistan has made it so clear that it has no intention of calling off its cowardly, shameful war?

What must be done even more urgently is to prepare our soldiers and para-military forces to fight the kind of war that is being fought against us. Attacks like the one that killed 40 CRPF men last week are not acts of terrorism; they are acts of war.