Legislation on Kulbhushan Jadhav reaffirms Pakistan’s seriousness to ICJ judgment: FO

ISLAMABAD, Nov 18 (APP): Pakistan on Thursday said that the legislation adopted by the joint session of the parliament on Wednesday reaffirmed that the country continued to take its obligation with regard to the ICJ judgment “very seriously”.

“There is absolute clarity on the legislation adopted by the Parliament… It is deeply regrettable that the Government of India has refused to avail itself of the legal remedies provided by Pakistan,” Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said in his weekly press briefing.

He said the International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Act, 2020 provided for the right of review and reconsideration in giving effect to the judgment of the ICJ in the case of Commander Jadhav.

He said Commander Jadhav, an Indian spy and RAW operative, facilitated numerous acts of terrorism in Pakistan, which resulted in the killings of countless innocent citizens of Pakistan.

“Government of Pakistan once again reminds the Government of India of its obligation to arrange for legal representation of Commander Jadhav under paragraph 118 of the ICJ judgment,” he remarked.  

Felicitating the Sikh Community in Pakistan, India and across the world on the 552nd birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak, the Spokesperson told media that Pakistan was welcoming and hosting thousands of devotees coming in from India and around the world for the celebrations and various ceremonies.

He informed media that pilgrims were also coming in through the Kartarpur Corridor since Wednesday after Government of India’s last-minute decision to re-open the Corridor from its side following repeated calls for the same.

Following a brief COVID-19 related closure, the Corridor was reopened by Pakistan in June 2020. India on the other hand had kept the Corridor closed for 20 months, despite resumption of international travel and opening of religious places in India.

He said besides the Kartarpur Corridor, pilgrims from India are also coming through Wagah border. Similarly, large numbers of pilgrims are coming from many other countries.

During their stay in Pakistan, they will pay obeisance at different Gurdwaras including Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

In addition to issuance of visas by Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi and other embassies, a series of activities have been organized from 17-26 November to commemorate this sacred event.

Referring to the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the spokesperson said condemned the spate of extra-judicial killing of Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces in recent weeks including the martyrdom of 9 Kashmiris in last two days.

“At least 30 Kashmiris have been extra-judicially killed in fake encounters and so called “cordon and search operations” since 1st October 2021,” he told the newsmen.

Calling India to realize the futility of the military approach, he said Jammu and Kashmir dispute had to be resolved in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

The spokesperson also expressed concerns over the rising trend of violence against minorities particularly Muslims in India and the increasing constraints on religious freedom.

“Pakistan condemns the restrictions imposed on offering Friday prayers, vandalisation of mosques, attacks against Muslims offering prayers, and sacrilege of Muslim places of worship.”

Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar also rejected the U.S. State Department’s arbitrary and selective assessment under a U.S. domestic legislation on religious freedom.

“The designation of Pakistan as a “country of particular concern” is completely against the realities on the ground and raises serious doubts about the credibility of this exercise.”

Pakistani society is multi-religious and pluralistic with a rich tradition of inter-faith harmony. Religious freedom and the protection of the rights of minorities are guaranteed by our Constitution and ensured through a range of legislative, policy and administrative measures.

Furthermore, he said the glaring omission of India, where the RSS-BJP regime and their leaders openly disregard religious freedom and discriminate against minority communities in an institutionalized manner, is unfortunate and puts the credibility of the U.S. report into question.

To a question, he said Pakistan appreciated the role played by the United Kingdom in its capacity as the COP-26 presidency in ensuring that the Conference achieved visible progress on a range of issues with the adoption of “Glasgow Climate Pact”.

Pakistan remained actively engaged in COP-26 which highlighted Pakistan’s recently updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and other key climate change related initiatives of the government in Pakistan’s national statement on 9th November.

Coming to the situation in Ethiopia, the spokesperson said there were about 200 Pakistani nationals residing in Ethiopia. Of those, around 50 have returned to Pakistan. The embassy remains engaged with the Pakistani diaspora to provide necessary advice and facilitation.

Top a question, he said Pakistan had taken note of supply of first of five S-400 ballistic missile defense systems to India, which affected strategic balance in South Asia.

“New Delhi is irresponsibly weaponizing outer space, has nuclearized Indian Ocean Region and is vertically proliferating.”