Pakistan will welcome Ashraf Ghani’s visit

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ISLAMABAD, June 22 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana and agreed for mutual cooperation and Afghan leader is expected to visit Pakistan shortly to further improve the bilateral relations.
During the weekly media briefing, Spokesperson of Foreign Office
Nafees Zakaria when asked to comment on expected visits of Chinese and Afghan Leaders, said, “We will welcome visits from Afghanistan as well in order to grow the mutual cooperation”.
Responding to a query, he said China is an important partner in efforts
to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. Both China and Pakistan are working closely under the initiatives like QCG, Heart of Asia Istanbul process etc. which are aimed at bringing lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Besides Afghanistan in the context of regional cooperation for security
and development, both sides will also review state of bilateral relations. The Chinese Foreign Minister will be visiting over the weekend. Both sides will discuss all issues of mutual interest including the regional situation.
When asked to comment on shooting down Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the spokesperson said that Pakistan’s position on drone strike is clear, they are counterproductive and cause collateral damage and as far as Iran UAV is concerned, the drone was hit by Pakistan Air Force as it was unidentified and was flying at around 3-4 kms inside Pakistani territory.
Pakistan has already shared the information about striking down of this
drone with the Iranian authorities indicating that the drone was struck down by our security forces as it was unmarked and there was no prior information about its flight.
While congratulating Pakistani nation on the historic victory against
India in the final of ICC Champions Trophy, he said that the Amnesty international has called upon India to release all those arrested on charges of celebrating Pakistan’s victory.
He said arresting Kashmiris for celebrating Pakistan’s victory against
India is a `sad state of affairs’.
Commenting on the Indian atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), he said since 1947 Indian occupation forces have killed over a million Kashmiris. Since 1990, killings of innocent Kashmiris touched the figure of 100,000.
While since 8 July last year alone more than 150 Kashmiris have been
brutally killed, thousands have injured, several hundreds have been blinded, completely or partially, whereabouts of thousands arrested arbitrarily is unknown and hundreds of women have been dishonoured, he added.
These atrocities continue unabated with impunity, he said. The grave
human rights situation in India has raised international concern, the manifestation of which is constant coverage of the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian forces in IoK in the international media and social media despite restrictions imposed by the unlawful authorities there, debates in foreign parliaments and activities organized by the members of civil society in various countries to condemn India. Statements expressing concerns have been issued by the international forums, he pointed out.
Pakistanis would not forget their Kashmiri brothers on the eve of Eid ul
Fitr especially the children who are facing brutalities of Indian troops in the IoK.
He said Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz
has written a letter to United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), President United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and other international bodies including OIC to update them on human rights violations in the IoK.
Responding to the statement of Indian COAS, spokesperson said that such statements must be seen in the light of ground realities.
“Human rights situation in India has raised international concerns and
the constant coverage of Kashmir issue in international and social media has attracted the attention of international community towards the issue,” he added.
To a question, he said the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres offered mediation to resolve outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India soon after assumption of the office, which we had welcomed. A similar offer was made in March this year by his Office.
Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute and is outstanding on
the UN Security Council agenda. The relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir dispute remain unimplemented, which promise Kashmiris their right to self-determination in accordance with their wishes and aspirations.
UN has a responsibility by virtue of these UN Security Council
Resolutions to resolve the issue and call upon India to immediately stop bloodshed of Kashmiris in IoK. Regional countries have also raised concerns over regional security situation due to intransigence and belligerent posturing by India.
Replying to a question, he said Pakistan gives special importance
to its longstanding relations with the US in various spheres.
“We strongly believe that continuing relations with the US and other
countries is critical for promoting peace and stability in the region,” he added.
He said our counter terrorism operations are totally driven by our
own national interest and are directed against all terrorists without discrimination and distinction.
He said it remains Pakistan’s firm resolve to not let use its soil
against any country.
Responding to the question about IOC’s role in resolving Kashmir issue
he said that OIC has always supported the people of Jammu and Kashmir and their struggle for freedom which has been promised to them in the relevant UN Security council resolution on Kashmir dispute.
Several resolutions of OIC exist that not only condemn the barbaric acts of Indian troops but also emphasizes the resolution of Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolution.
He said that human rights commission of OIC visited Muazaffarabad in
March 2017 and it also requested India to visits the IoK response to which is still awaited.
About the issue of fence on Pak-Afghan border he said that it’s an
effective tool of border management, moreover the fence has been built on Pakistani side of the border.
Answering about the two missing Pakistani officials working in Jalalabad
Spokesperson said that the government is in constant touch with Afghanistan authorities over the matter.