Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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Foreign Affairs Diary: Russia, China and Pakistan trilateral meeting will be held next week

Nafees Zakaria

Chaudhry Ahsan Premee

Associated Press Service

December 22, 2016

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing that since Burhan Muzaffar Wani’s extra-judicial killing on 8th July   2016 by the Indian occupation forces in Indian occupied Kashmir, India in complete violation of the UN Charter and International Law on fundamental rights has been randomly arresting innocent Kashmiris using the draconian laws or lawless laws such as Public Safety Act. He added that more than 10,000 Kashmiri youth have been arrested during the last 5 months and there is no news about them whether they have been tortured and sent to the similar ‘Mass Graves’ that were discovered in 2009! Pakistan is deeply concerned about the fate of those arrested Kashmiris. International Community must stop Indian brutalities and bloodshed of Kashmiris. We call upon the UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other such organizations to call India to account for its blatant violations of human rights.

The spokesman further said that so far more than 6,000 Kashmiris, including children, are victims of pellet guns, over 150 have been martyred and more than 17,000 are injured, many of whom without any medical attention. Indian occupation forces and Hindu terrorist organizations such as RSS and others, should be tried for their crimes against humanity.

He added that reportedly, PDP-BJP regime, a result of sham elections in IOK in violation of UNSC Resolutions, has started issuing domicile certificates to non-Kashmiri Hindus in Jammu region. The move is part of the regime’s nefarious designs to change the demographic composition of the territory. This act of bringing material change in the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir is a blatant violation of UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir. Kashmiris have hopes that international community and relevant international organizations will call India to the account.

He added that at an International European Kashmir Conference in Denmark last month, representatives of 500 various political & social organizations and NGOs adopted Copenhagen Declaration called, inter alia, for release of those arrested under lawless laws immediately and those blinded Kashmiris using pellet guns be brought to book.

He added that there are no two opinions that how media, particularly social and electronic media, are an effective means of communication among the global community. Regrettably, some elements tend to misuse it with, apparently, an ill intent. Given the outreach, it is important that greater responsibility is exercised. It is not good to start a media campaign without establishing the facts on any matter. This tendency of media trial is not a healthy sign in this era of high technology. People have been hurting people by way of their irresponsible act. Unfortunately, in such instances even in Pakistan, some media and social media users have not shown a sense of maturity and nationalism. A case in point is the sad incident in Berlin.

He added that the Prime Minister concluded a 3-day productive visit to Bosnia & Herzegovina. There is exist a strong fraternal bond between the two nations. The Prime Minister’s visit has set an impetus and provided direction to the bilateral relations.

 Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing that the Foreign Secretary will lead the Pakistani delegation in this meeting. This is an existing forum for undertaking informal discussions on issues of regional peace and stability, including situation in Afghanistan.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that Pakistan has been continuously raising the issue of Indian human rights violations in IoK at UN and other multilateral forums very effectively. What you are referring to is the material change  that is demographic change in IoK. This material change violates UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir. We have taken this matter time and again on various occasions, and will continue to do so with United Nations Secretary General and UNSC Members.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that indeed, Kashmir issue is outstanding on the UN Security Council’s agenda. India as a state has been constantly violating UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir by calling it as its integral part. India is also a violator of the UNSC Resolutions on account of denying UNMOGIP access to Indian occupied Kashmir. India is in violation of UN Charter and International Humanitarian Laws on account of committing worst human rights violations in the living memory and then adamantly disallowing calls for any independent investigations into the genocide and crimes against humanity its occupation troops are blatantly committing in IoK. The UN Members and Human Rights organizations should take note and initiate action against India. Demographic change that India is carrying out in IoK is also a violation of UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir dispute. Pakistan constantly takes up the issue with the UN.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that I have seen this media report and am yet to get details on it. Once I have the requisite information from the relevant authorities, it will be shared.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that Indian interference in Pakistan is a clear violation of the provisions of UN Charter pertaining to the respect for the sovereignty of its members. Indian state actors’ subversive activities have been proven beyond doubt. We have already shared our views in this regard. In the context, I draw your attention to the public confession of Kulbhushan Yadav, activities of Indian RAW and IB operatives who were working at their High Commission in Islamabad, which were made public recently, Mr. Chuck Hagel’s statement, PM Modi’s statement of 15 August and the one at Dhaka University, Ministers Ajit Doval and Manohar Parrikar statements of using Taliban (based in Afghanistan) against Pakistan and terror financing, are some of the references. We have earlier also taken up these issues with the UNSG and UNSC Members and we would raise it on all appropriate occasions.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that there are 728 Pakistani nationals detained in various jails in the Western region of Saudi Arabia which falls under consular jurisdiction of Jeddah Consulate.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that whenever a case is reported to the Consulate regarding dispute between a Pakistani employee and his sponsor, first of all, efforts are made to settle the issues through negotiations with the employers. If negotiations fail the workers are guided to make recourse to the labour courts and the Consulate assists them in adjudication of their disputes. The Consulate provides facility of interpreter in Labour Courts to such Pakistani workers. On the average, 150-175 overseas Pakistanis are facilitated in this regard per month.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that  legal Consultants of the Consulate are providing legal aid to the Pakistani prisoners by visiting jails and deportation centers. Our officers/officials visit various jails on regular basis in order to provide maximum assistance to the imprisoned Pakistanis to their repatriation/deportation. Emergency passports are issued to those Pakistani prisoners who are without any valid travel documents enabling them to travel back to Pakistan.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that the Consulate receives mercy petitions from the families of prisoners which the Missions forward to the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consideration and pursue the cases diligently.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that the Consulate has repeatedly requested the Ministry of Interior to advise the agents not to issue Azad Visas as there is no such category in the Kingdom. Protectors of Emigrants should play their role to educate the intending emigrants about the hazards and dangerous implications of emigration on “Azad Visa” an illegal arrangement and nature of sponsorship prior to departure from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia.

Verification of demand and genuineness of Visas issued by the employers in KSA should be carried out by the relevant Ministry and due attestation by Welfare Wing in Pakistan Missions abroad. An awareness campaign may be launched in the country utilizing the print and electronic media highlighting the consequences of drug trafficking.

Saudi Arabian authorities have extended full support, assistance and generosity towards resolving issues of the Pakistani community residing in Saudi Arabia.

As to the question of Mr. Anwar Abbas, I need to check the current status. Many Pakistanis have filed petitions over there and I need to check the progress on their petitions.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that as to your second question, I have already responded that regional issues will be discussed including the situation in Afghanistan.

As to your first question, we have said this earlier also that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the entire region. In this spirit, we remain committed and extend all cooperation to the efforts towards bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan has played a very positive role in bringing warring factions to the negotiating table. Whenever we are approached to help bring the warring factions to the negotiating table, we will assist.

Since I have also responded to similar questions previously, you may like refer to my previous replies as well.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that Pakistan does not allow its territory to be used for attacks against any other country. A large number of terrorists have moved to other side of the border after successful launch of Zarb-e-Azb near Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The results of our military action are there for everyone to see through peace and stability at the borders. This fact has already been acknowledged at various levels of the US leadership and the rest of the world along with the sacrifices that Pakistan has rendered in the fight against terrorism.

This is more of rhetoric than anything else. Afghanistan is infested with most terrorist organizations due to the instability there, which has created space for these terrorist elements. These are the facts which are known to all. I draw your attention to my earlier statements in this regard in which I have made references to the UN study in 2014, killing of leaders and senior commanders of Haqqani Network in Afghanistan. I have earlier said that how many senior commanders of Haqqani Network, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups killed in Afghanistan this year, which clearly indicates where these organizations’ leadership actually is. You may like to see my responses in this regard, which are available on the Ministry’s website.

 Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that as to your first question, we need to understand that terrorists have no religion. It will be wrong to associate this phenomenon to any one religion. Importantly, Islam does not teach violence or terrorism. Numerous references to this are available, in the statements by various religious leaders across the world. Terrorism is a global phenomenon and people from various regions and nations have been perpetrating terrorism.

As to your second question, since 1967, Israel has continued settlement construction and expansion in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in defiance of its international law obligations. This illegal activity has rendered the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, increasingly fragmented.

Pakistan strongly opposes the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, and condemns all illegal activities of Israeli government, including settlements, separation wall, excavations beneath the Al Aqsa mosque and forceful eviction of Palestinians from their homes.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that I think in this regard there are reports that the Pakistani initially indicted for terrible attack, was not involved in the incident and hence released. Our Embassy is in touch with German authorities in this regard. What you are referring to is not something I can comment on. According to German sources, he was released.

Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that I would not comment on what Adviser Sartaj Aziz has said, which is already on record. With regard to Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, I would refer you to Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources for details.

 Foreign Office spokesman said in opening remarks during the weekly press briefing, that as to your first question, I have already stated that the trilateral meeting will be held on 27 December 2016 in Russia.

As to your second question, I have already given a detailed account of Mr. Tariq Fatemi’s visit and his interactions there. He had constructive discussions with a number of important political figures and met various segments of the society, including the think tanks, media, etc. The outcome of his visit has already been shared in my earlier media briefing and press releases. You may refer to that for further details.

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