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Pakistani Foreign Secretary Dr Abdul Sattar
Pakistani Foreign Secretary Dr Abdul Sattar
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: DR ABDUL SATTAR FOREIGN SECRETARY, PAKISTAN SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2001

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: Any future US retaliation is being watched of course, very nervously, in Pakistan, the government there has pledged cooperation with the Americans but many of its own people could be angered by an attack on a fellow Muslim country. Their Foreign Secretary, Dr Abdul Sattar joins me now live from Islamabad. Good morning.

ABDUL SATTAR: Good morning Sir David.

DAVID FROST: Let me begin with the news...pardon, after you...

ABDUL SATTAR: It's a wonderfully fine afternoon here in Islamabad, so that's what I was saying, good afternoon.

DAVID FROST: I see, a very good afternoon, well it's a, it's a okay morning here too. Tell me the news we had overnight, the news that the sanctions had been lifted by President Bush against Pakistan must be very good news for you today?

ABDUL SATTAR: We understand that some of the sanctions had been waived but not all the sanctions against Pakistan have been lifted, as a matter of fact any economic support and many other aspects still remain prohibited so we hope that this first step will be followed with another so that effectively the sanctions will be terminated against Pakistan.

DAVID FROST: When we were talking to Imran Khan a week ago on this programme and he was saying it's a no-win situation for Pakistan you probably are now more optimistic than that, are you?

ABDUL SATTAR: Oh I think the situation in Pakistan remains difficult because on the one hand our people feel very close ties of history and culture and religion with the people of Afghanistan, we have always cherished that friendship and we are very much worried that in the absence of implementation of Security Council Resolutions by the government of Afghanistan innocent people might unfortunately suffer. So the people in Pakistan, as you know, are divided in their opinions, the President of Pakistan, General Musharraf has had extensive meetings with eminent political personalities, religious scholars intellectuals, even and I think as a result public opinion is now more enlightened but nevertheless difficulties remain.

DAVID FROST: And it's reported that you've given the okay for Pakistan to make two of its air, airports available to US troops, is that accurate and can they bring grand troops through Pakistan at the moment?

ABDUL SATTAR: Sir David actually what we have done so far was firstly to cast foreign policy in the context of the UN Resolutions, we have assured the world community of our cooperation in the fight against international terrorism and we have informed the United States that we will also cooperate. But so far the discussions have been in general terms, these have involved the question of intelligence and information and assessment sharing, permission for over-flights, logistic assistance, but these are only in general terms and we are awaiting a delegation from the United States with which we will enter into discussions with regard to concrete and precise aspects in which Pakistan might be in a position to cooperate.

DAVID FROST: That's very clear, so in fact these are subjects which have been discussed in more general terms, now the terms are going to get more specific and the question of ground troops being stationed in Pakistan hasn't even been discussed yet?

ABDUL SATTAR: This has not been discussed and as you were earlier talking to Mr Solana we hope that when the European Council's delegation comes to Pakistan we will also receive some more information in view of the close ties between the European Union and the United States. So we are really awaiting more concrete and precise information in the light of which we will be able to consider the extent to which Pakistan can be of help.

DAVID FROST: Well that's very clear, thank you very much indeed, Mr Sattar there.

ABDUL SATTAR: With pleasure.

DAVID FROST: A clear definition of where the negotiations there with the United States lie.

ABDUL SATTAR: It's a pleasure to have talked to you.

DAVID FROST: And vice-a-versa, thank you very much indeed and we wish you the wisdom of Solomon in the weeks ahead.

END


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