Pakistan not solely responsible for bringing Taliban to negotiating table: FO

Pakistan has exclusive rights on western rivers under IWT: FO Spokesperson

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday voiced serious concern over the “relentless killing, maiming, unlawful arrests and torture” by India against the innocent civilians in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir and pointed that in June alone 33 people have been killed by the Indian Army.
The Foreign Office spokesman reiterated the demand for immediate establishment of Commission of Inquiry to assess the Human Rights situation in the region and said the reign of terror against the Kashmiris has become a matter of routine.
He said the recommendations of the The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) need to be implemented without delay.
“We urge the international community to call India to account for its grave human rights violations in IoK,” the Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal told reporters here at the Foreign Office at the weekly briefing.
He said the Indian occupation forces continue to kill innocent defenseless Kashmiris with impunity.
He said in June thirty – three (33) Kashmiris were martyred and at least 236 injured. Out of these, 7 youth were killed in a fake encounter in Kupwara.
Faisal said those martyred included three widowed women and four children.
He said the last week was equally traumatic and tragic for Kashmiris in IoK and said the bloodthirsty Indian army and paramilitary forces killed 14-years young boy, Faizan Ahmad Khan.
He said the event was all the more tragic as the hospital doctor who declared Faizan dead happened to be Faizan’s own father.
He said the injured suffered fatal and serious injuries due to indiscriminate brute force including firing of bullets, pellets, PAVA and teargas shells by Indian occupation forces.
Over 176 people, including Hurriyat activists and students were arrested last month during house raids and crackdown operations, the spokesman pointed.
He said Sajad Ahmad Shah and 31-year old Mudasir Ahmad Bhat in Pulwama and Kupwara were succumbed to their injuries caused by bullets, pellets and teargas shells.
The Spokesman said to highlight the serious situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir a briefing for Islamabad-based Heads of Mission was held on June 27 at Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the recent Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on the situation of human rights in Kashmir.
He said the Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon during the briefing to diplomats regretted that the fundamental human conscience had been surpassed by our more ‘practical’ interests, when it came to the human rights violations in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is time for the international community to move beyond political and economic expediencies and fulfill its promises to the Kashmiri people, as per United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” the spokesman said.
Mohammad Faisal said the UN Report had categorically focused on the Indian atrocities in IoK and explicitly underscored India’s obligation to fulfill its commitment to International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, as well as, to halt the human sufferings in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The Spokesman said Pakistan has handed over a list of 471 Indian prisoners (53 civilian + 418 fishermen) held in Pakistan to the High Commission of India July 1, as per the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between the two countries.
Pakistan and India, signed the agreement on May 21, 2008, under which both countries were required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on the first of January and July, respectively.
The Indian Government also handed over the list of Pakistani prisoners in Indian, to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said Pakistan fully supports the efforts of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for talks with the Taliban. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire for peace in Afghanistan and said the country was playing its due role in this regard.
He said the international community also needs to play its part in bringing peace to Afghanistan. He said Pakistan seeks a political solution to the situation in Afghanistan.
He said it was not Pakistan’s sole responsibility to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table and said the entire international community needs to play its part in this regard.
He said Pakistan was supportive of the talks process with the Taliban.
He said the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ambassador Alice Wells had a constructive visit to Pakistan and was briefed about the arrangements for improved border management with Afghanistan and added the United States has appreciated these measures.
The Spokesman said Pakistan strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Jalalabad city, killing and injuring many innocent civilians.
“We are distressed and grieved at the loss of precious human lives. Pakistan reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”
The Spokesman also congratulated Archbishop Joseph Coutts of the Catholic Church of Karachi who was elevated to the rank of Cardinal by Pope Francis last week. Pope Francis elevated 14 Archbishops to the rank of Cardinal.
The spokesman said Archbishop Coutts was the second Pakistani accorded this honour after Cardinal Joseph Cordeiro, who was appointed in 1973 and said in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, Cardinals come immediately after the Pope.
He said one of the primary responsibilities of the Cardinals is to elect a new Pope when the position becomes vacant.
“The appointment of Archbishop Joseph Coutts is an honour for the entire nation. Pope Francis is held in high esteem in Pakistan. Pakistan is committed to cordial relations with the Holy See.”
He said Minister for Religious Affairs Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh led the Pakistan delegation to the Ceremony.
He said the ministerial participation underscores the importance Pakistan attaches to the elevation of Archbishop Joseph Coutts to a Cardinal. It also recognizes his contribution and services to the Catholic Church and promotion of inter-faith harmony in the country.
The spokesman said Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon in his meeting with Under-Secretary-General (USG) for UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (UN DPKO) Jean-Pierre Lacroix last week, underscored that Pakistan remained a consistent and active supporter of multilateralism.
He said Pakistan’s engagement with and support to the United Nations were a key pillar of its foreign policy.
The Foreign Minister also recalled Pakistan’s longstanding partnership with and contributions to the UN, especially in several of its peacekeeping missions across the world.
USG Lacroix acknowledged Pakistan’s leading role in UN peacekeeping; expressed deep appreciation for the professionalism of Pakistani peacekeepers and paid tribute to the ultimate sacrifices of 156 Pakistani peacekeepers to the cause of international peace.
The spokesman also extended heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Ms. Zainab, a young Pakistani who was undergoing treatment in India, and breathed her last on Tuesday 3 July in an Indian hospital. “May Allah give them courage to bear this loss with fortitude,” he said. – APP


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