Pakistan’s Kashmir policy unchanged: FO

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan yesterday said Islamabad’s Kashmir policy remained unchanged amid tensions with India.

Speaking at a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri called upon the world to use all tools at its disposal to make India accountable for its crimes against Kashmiri people.

“Our policy remains unchanged. We continue sensitizing the international community, the United Nations and human rights organizations should to take cognizance of the brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people’s rights and freedoms in utter violation of international laws and convention,” he said.

Chaudhri said since the last 388 days, the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir had been facing inhuman military siege, communication lockdown and continued restriction on all freedoms.

During the last few days, he said, the Indian forces had killed four more Kashmiris in Kupwara, Baramula and Shopian districts of IIOJK. “The senior Kashmir leaders are also continuously under detention over frivolous charges and draconian laws,” he added.

He warned the world community to be cognizant of the dangerous consequences of India’s belligerent rhetoric and irresponsible actions for peace and security in the region.

Chaudhri said New Delhi must share the initial findings of the deaths of 11 Pakistani citizens in India. The family members from Pakistan’s Hindu minority were found dead inside a rented farmhouse in the northwestern Indian city of Jodhpur on August 9. A member of the family who survived claimed they were murdered by his in-laws over a dispute.

“Our High Commission in New Delhi immediately contacted the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and asked them to share details including circumstances of the deaths, copy of FIR (First Information Report) and investigation report,” the spokesperson said. India has also been asked to provide immediate consular access to the family, he added.

The presence of the diplomatic mission’s doctor was requested during post-mortem. The family had reportedly arrived in India’s state of Rajasthan from Pakistan in 2015 on a long-term visa.

Asked about Indian convicted spy Kulbushan Jadhav, the spokesperson said Pakistan was committed to fully implement the judgment of International Court of Justice. He, however, lamented that India was trying to frustrate Pakistan s efforts in this regard.

The spokesperson said the judgment of the ICJ clearly stated that the review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction will be as per Pakistani laws. “India should cooperate with Pakistani courts on the matter,” he remarked.

On the Afghan peace process, the spokesperson said it has reached a critical stage. “Pakistan desires early start of the intra-Afghan dialogue after addressing of the residual issues. Pakistan believes in an Afghan led and an Afghan owned peace process and it will continue to play the role of a facilitator in the peace process,” he maintained.

About Prime Minister Imran Khan’s telephonic conversation with Chairman of High Council for Reconciliation in Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah, the spokesperson said the former emphasized the importance of Pak-Afghan bilateral relations and reiterated commitment to further deepen the ties and enhance cooperation in all fields.

Highlighting the developments in the foreign policy domain during last week, the spokesperson referred to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s visit to China on August 20-21 to lead Pakistan side in second Round of Round of China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ strategic dialogue.

He said during the visit, the two sides discussed views on COVID-19, bilateral and international issue besides agreeing to take measures to safeguard mutual interests.

“The joint communiqué reiterated enduring Pak-China partnership was anchor of peace and stability in region and beyond. Both the countries agreed to further strengthen cooperation to develop anti-COVID vaccine,” he said.

The two sides, he said, underlined that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor had entered phase of high quality development and that it would continue to play important role in supporting Pakistan to overcome impact of COVID-19 and achieve development.

The spokesperson termed a so-called charge sheet by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) a mischievous attempt to implicate Pakistan in the Pulwama attack in the IIOJK last year.

He said in response to a paper shared by the Indian government following the Pulwama attack, Pakistan constituted a high-level investigation team to examine its contents.

“As the information provided by India was incomplete, patchy and unsubstantiated, Pakistan shared two Aides-memoir, seeking further information and supporting evidence from India. India has been unable to provide any corroboration of its unfounded allegations,” he said.

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