Chaudhry Ahsan Premee
Associated Press Service
ISLAMABAD:August 18, 2016-Foreign Office spokesman told a weekly press briefing that for the last 40 consecutive days, blatant violation of human rights is being committed by the Indian occupation forces in Indian occupied Kashmir on the defenseless Kashmiris, who are striving for their right to self-determination. So far more than 80 Kashmiris have been martyred. Over a hundred have lost their eyesight due to pellet guns firing. We pray for our Kashmiri brethren. We sympathize with the bereaved Kashmiri families, our special prayers for those who lost their eyesight due to pellet guns firing and wish speedy recovery to the injured.
He added that foreign Secretary is in Germany to hold the 3rd Round of Pakistan-Germany Strategic Dialogue. Pakistan and Germany enjoy very cordial and mutually beneficial relations in diverse fields. Germany is the largest trading partner of Pakistan among the EU countries.
He added that the Minister for Overseas Pakistanis is on a visit to Saudi Arabia since 15th August 2016. During the visit, he has met with the Saudi Labour Minister and Saudi Minister for Health to discuss and find ways to resolve problems faced by Pakistani workers, who have been facing financial difficulties due to non-payment of their salaries by their private company employers in Saudi Arabia. He also held meetings with the affected Pakistani workers and representatives of Pakistani community.
He added that on 17th August 2016, the Minister visited the Eastern province where most of the camps of affected Pakistani workers are located. During the visit, he also met the Governor of Eastern Province.
He added that so far, meetings with the Saudi authorities have been fruitful and positive, as the Saudi Ministers assured full assistance to resolve the crisis. Saudi Government has extended full cooperation to our Ambassador in the context. This was for your information, in the interim.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute, which is outstanding on UN Security Council’s agenda for over six decades. The statement by the Indian State Minister is in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir as well as India’s obligation under international law.
The Foreign Secretary extended an invitation to his Indian counterpart to visit Pakistan for talks on Jammu & Kashmir dispute, particularly, owing to the ongoing grave violations of human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that the remarks made by the Home Minister of India were against the spirit of the SAARC Charter and diplomatic norms. As you know, Pakistan is hosting the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad this year. Pakistan always endeavors to make SAARC a vibrant platform of cooperation in the larger interest of regional peace and economic prosperity. SAARC region has the highest concentration of poor people and has the lowest intra-regional trade.
He added that Pakistan remains focused and strives to promote objectives of SAARC to enable better cooperation between SAARC members. SAARC as a region holds immense potential in terms of resources, and Pakistan hopes that all SAARC member states can effectively exploit this potential for the advantage of the entire region.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that what you are referring to are media reports. I would not respond or make a comment on media reports.
However, the fact of the matter remains that Pakistan has formally invited India for dialogue on Kashmir in keeping with our principled position on the issue of Kashmir and in view of the gross human rights violations committed by Indian forces in Indian occupied Kashmir. Resolution of Kashmir issue in accordance with UNSC Resolutions is an imperative for lasting peace and stability in region.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that we have responded to this question in the past also. Pakistan’s position on the issue remains unchanged. Since the eruption of the conflict in March 2011, Pakistan has reiterated at all forums, including at both the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, that our position is based on neutrality, impartiality and respect for Syrian independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He added that Pakistan supports all efforts employed at facilitating a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive solution that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people through a comprehensive political dialogue.
Pakistan supports the multilateral Vienna Talks and Geneva Talks between Syrian Government and Opposition under UN auspices and hopes that all parties would reach a negotiated settlement for the crisis in Syria.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that the statement by the Indian Prime Minister includes elements that are indeed a violation of the UN Charter. The Adviser, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, has already said in his statement that Prime Minister Modi’s reference to Balochistan, which is part and parcel of Pakistan, was an admission of India’s involvement in perpetrating and financing terrorism in Balochistan. Public confession by Kulbhushan Yadav, the Indian intelligence agency RAW’s active service officer, is also with us as an irrefutable proof.
He added that Indian Prime Minister tried, albeit without success, to cover up the Indian state terrorism in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where not only innocent people have lost their lives but thousands are injured and hundreds have been permanently blinded due to the use of pellet guns.
He added that it is time that India is reminded by the UN and International Community to ensure the realization of the right to self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
He added that the people of Pakistan, especially Balochistan and Karachi have been the victims of subversive and terrorist activities, sponsored by the Indian intelligence agencies.
As regards your specific question of the offer of dialogue, we have invited them for a dialogue on Kashmir.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that we have actually already responded to it earlier and China has also responded on a number of occasions about CPEC. As you know, CPEC is a comprehensive and broad-based economic cooperation project between Pakistan and China. The project will contribute to economic development of the entire region and not only for Pakistan and China. It can be a catalyst for economic connectivity and integration in Central Asia, South Asia and the West Asia. Objection by India or any other country to such economic project is, therefore, beyond comprehension.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question as far as the first part of your question is concerned, regarding the Indian Finance Minister’s visit, Pakistan has invited the Finance Ministers of all SAARC countries including India to visit Islamabad for the SAARC Finance Minister’s Conference in Islamabad from 25-26 August 2016. We are awaiting the confirmation of his participation.
As to your second question, the universal definition of terrorism is still being debated, and to the best of my knowledge, there is no consensus on the definition in the UN.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that Pakistan is ready to provide medical assistance to the injured people of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir, who are victims of brute force unleashed by the Indian forces. As you are aware, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced financial assistance for the medical treatment for those who were mercilessly shot in their eyes due to the use of pellet guns by the Indian Forces, and been either partially or fully blinded, as a result. We have also called upon the international community to play its role. The reaction from the Indian side reflects its guilt and efforts to divert international attention from ground realities in IoK where more than 700,000 armed forces personnel are deployed to suppress the Kashmiri people’s indigenous movement for self-determination. But the world is noticing since 8 July 2016 that the brute force has not deterred the people of Kashmir.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors is not acceptable. We have condemned it in the strongest terms and so did many international, political and human rights organizations. We call upon the Indian government to stop use of brute force, which resulted in the martyrdom of more than 80 innocent Kashmiris and injured thousands, including causing eye injuries to over 150 due to the use of pellet guns.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that I will reply to the second question first. Since you are referring to media reports, I have nothing to comment on that. We have extended invitations to all relevant countries, and are awaiting their official response.
Regarding your first question, we have already responded. Both Adviser and SAPM have given their views. I am not aware of the move to take the matter up with the UN. However, I recall raising with the UN earlier when Prime Minister Modi addressed a students’ gathering at a university in Bangladesh, in which he openly admitted to India’s role in the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that I won’t comment on this but would like to draw your attention to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Mr. Tariq Fatemi’s interview of yesterday in which he said that he crossed a red line. A comprehensive statement in response to Prime Minister Modi’s statement has already been issued by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that I have seen the media reports. By suppressing the voices of the human rights organizations, the Indian government will not be able to hide its killings and brutalities in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. We call upon the international community, including human rights activists, to condemn human rights violations in IoK being perpetrated by the Indian forces.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that I have responded to this question last time also. You should actually be asking the Indian authorities about this, as the claim has been made by them. As for us, we will check the veracity of the claim, as I had said earlier.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that you have asked two different questions, the first one relates to India’s refusal to allow human rights commission to visit Indian occupied Kashmir. We have already invited the world attention to the issue of grave human rights violations in IOK. Adviser Sartaj Aziz had earlier written a letter in this regard to UN Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also wrote to UN High Commissioner on human rights, urging him to send a fact finding mission to IoK. India is carrying out blatant violations of human rights in Kashmir for the last 40 days. They have refused UNHCR’s visit to Kashmir, which clearly indicates that Indian atrocities will be fully exposed.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that we participate every year at the highest political level in the UNGA Session. The Prime Minister will lead the delegation next month. Every year, we raise the issue of Jammu & Kashmir, which is an outstanding issue on the UNSC agenda. Last year also, in the Prime Minister’s address to the UNGA we vigorously pleaded the case of Kashmiri people. Similarly, this year also there will be strong references on Kashmir issue with particular reference to the ongoing atrocities. UNGA session is an important platform to raise the outstanding issue of Jammu & Kashmir, and Indian atrocities with the International Community.
With regard to handing over dossiers to the UN authorities, our investigations are ongoing, and we will take appropriate action at a propitious time.
The Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question that this subject comes under the purview of Ministry of Interior. You may contact them for your query. Moreover, if I recall correctly, the Minister of Interior has already issued a statement in the context.