Foreign Office silent over issue of airspace to US at weekly briefing

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad did not deny reports of former Azad Jammu and Kashmir president Masood Khan being nominated as Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States at this week’s media briefing.

“I have already responded to such questions in the past. These are issues of [an] administrative nature and there are diplomatic procedures and protocols that have to be followed. So I am not in a position to comment on this,” the FO spokesperson was quoted as saying.

To another question on if there was any amendment being made in the existing understanding with the US with regard to air and ground lines of communications (ALOCs) and (GLOCs), which was last updated in 2008, the spokesperson said that the matter was also clarified previously and did not give a detailed response. He, however, said that “there is a new situation on ground in Afghanistan, that means a different context in which things have to be seen.”

When asked to comment on the “double standards” of the UN about RSS and Shiv Sena, which are working openly in India, he said that apparently the sanctions regime under which entities are listed under the relevant UNSC resolutions is somewhat restricted.

“There may be a need to review that to enable the international community to take a more holistic approach of the terrorist threats around the world. You mentioned two specific organizations, there must be spotlight on them and ways to hold them accountable for their actions,” the FO spokesperson said.