India has track record of impeding SAARC process: FO

Pakistan strongly condemns killing of student, illegal detention of Kashmiri leadership

ISLAMABAD, Sep 29 (APP): The Foreign Office on Thursday
said India had a track record of impeding the process of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), terming such approach as against the interests of region’s prosperity and development.

“Most of the times, it is India that has postponed the
SAARC meetings in the past and created hurdles in its smooth functioning,” the Foreign Office spokesman said at a weekly press briefing, in response to India’s decision not to attend the SAARC summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November.

Spokesman Nafees Zakaria when asked whether Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh followed India’s suit in staying away from the SAARC summit, said “all SAARC countries had in fact previously agreed for the venue during last summit”.

The spokesman rebuffed India’s claim that it would
isolate Pakistan, saying mere statements of Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi cannot isolate Pakistan in the comity
of nations.

He mentioned in this regard Pakistan’s engagements on
the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly, China’s
massive investment in Pakistan, joint military exercises with
Russia, visit of Iranian naval ship and signing of mega
projects with Central Asian states.

“All these happenings make India’s claims a laughing
stock,” he said.

Whether Pakistan would look towards other regional
bodies after SAARC, he said Pakistan was already members of several regional bodies including Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), and would remain active at these forums.

On situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Zakaria said the toll
of innocent Kashmiris martyred by Indian security forces had
reached 100 in 83 days, with more than 12,000 injured among whom 800 received eye injuries.

“India has unleashed a rein of terror in the Occupied
Kashmir,” he said.

He said Pakistan would continue to highlight Indian
atrocities at United Nations, Organization for Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) and other international organizations.