No improvement in IIOJK situation; India must end HR, systemic violations: FO

UN urged to take notice of impending genocide in IIOJK

ISLAMABAD, Nov 24 (APP): Pakistan on Thursday said that there was no improvement in the situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as it remained under military siege and Indian oppression there continued unabated.

In her weekly press brieifing, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that carrying on with their spree of extrajudicial killings, last week the Indian occupation forces killed two Kashmiri youth in fake encounters in Islamabad and Shopian districts of IIOJK.

She said the Indian occupation forces were also engaged in killing innocent youth while in custody.

“These developments are of serious concern for Pakistan. We are also deeply concerned about the welfare of Kashmiri political prisoners including APHC leaders and Human rights defenders. It is important that their rights are protected and they are immediately released,” she remarked.

She told the media that 12 international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had jointly raised their voice for an immediate and unconditional release of human rights defender Khurram Parvez who was currently incarcerated in the infamous Tihar jail.

“India must end its gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK, revoke its illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019, and free all political prisoners including the true Kashmiri leaders,” she added.

Apprising the media about the diplomatic engagements during the last week, the spokesperson referred to the COP27’s decision to establish the Loss and Damage Fund.

“We are particularly gratified with the decision to establish a fund to address “loss and damage” caused by climate-induced disasters to effectively address the urgent needs of developing countries. We see the consensus at COP27 as a momentous achievement, especially for the Group of 77 and China.”

She said the dedicated “Fund for Loss and Damage” would address losses and damages in developing countries, such as Pakistan, which were particularly vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change.

She also briefed the media about Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Turkiye from November 25-26 2022, at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to jointly inaugurate the third of the four MILGEM Corvette Ships for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Khaibar, at the Istanbul Shipyard.

The two leaders will also hold wide-ranging discussions encompassing bilateral relations, the regional situation and other issues of common interest.

She said Pakistan and the Dominican Republic had established diplomatic relations as a formal Joint Communiqué was signed to this effect on November 18, 2022 in New York by the Permanent Representatives of Pakistan and the Dominican Republic.

She said last year, Pakistan established formal diplomatic relations with the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) of Kiribati and Palau. Since March last year, Pakistan has opened five new Missions in Africa as part of our Engage Africa policy initiative. Pakistan intends to continue to increase its diplomatic engagement in all continents.

The spokesperson strongly rejected India’s “unwarranted” remarks made against Pakistan at the Security Council briefing on Wednesday.

“India’s irresponsible behavior at the Security Council during its non-permanent membership confirms that it does not have the competence nor the wisdom to qualify as a permanent member of the Security Council,” she remarked.

To a question on the incidents of firing from across the Afghan border, she said there had been some issues at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and the two sides were holding regular border flag meetings and were engaged in discussion at various levels, including Kharlachi Border Crossing Point.

On the Chaman Border Crossing Point, she said it was reopened on Monday following discussions between the two sides at Border Flag Meetings. The key focus of these meetings was to clear pedestrian traffic and trade consignments.

“The Afghan side has communicated its serious regret over the incident and has constituted a high-level committee comprising of the Afghan Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Border and Tribal Affairs, local Chambers of Commerce and tribal elders to investigate the incident and avoid recurrence,” the spokesperson informed.

Asked about the violation of Indus Water Treaty by India and the Kishanganga hydropower project, she said the World Bank had a special responsibility with respect to the Indus Waters Treaty.

“We believe that India has developed this project in violation of the Treaty. Pakistan is very closely engaged with World Bank on this issue. We have noted the recent progress on the nomination of a court of arbitration and look forward to a judicious settlement.”

She congratulated the State of Qatar for being the first Muslim and Arab country to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. Pakistan is assisting the Qatari government in security for the World Cup. We wish them a great tournament, she added.

By Ishtiaq Rao

Ishtiaq Ahmed is a Sr. Reporter who reports on Prime Minister, President, Foreign Office, and special assignments. Backed by 20-year experience, he has written for local and foreign newspapers. Reach out at 03335293238/ [email protected]/ X: ishtiaqrao

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