Pak forces giving befitting response to unprovoked Indian firing: Sartaj

ISLAMABAD, Nov 22 (APP): Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Tuesday, while strongly condemning unprovoked Indian firing over Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary, apprised the Senate that the Pakistan’s armed forces were giving a befitting response to the Indian shelling and firing.

By resorting to such tactics, India wanted to divert world attention from the atrocities being committed by its Indian forces in the Occupied Kashmir, he said.

Giving point-to-point implementation report on the 22 recommendations and policy guidelines given by the Senate’s Committee of Whole about the latest Pak-India relations, the Advisor said the government took pragmatic steps and action was already underway on most of the recommendations.

Sartaj said a committee headed by the Secretary Foreign Affairs had been constituted for formulating a double and sustainable India/Kashmir policy.

Another committee led by the Secretary Information had been formed for preparing a fact-sheet and counter-propaganda campaign against India, and design and promote a media strategy for continuously highlighting the Kashmiris’ freedom struggle.

Sartaj Aziz said the Ministry of Information Technology had been directed to prepare a comprehensive strategy for highlighting the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, especially on social media.

He said the Public Diplomacy Division had already been established in the Foreign Office for projecting cultural, economic and trade outputs.

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The Advisor said Indian interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan, support for subversive activities and human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) were being vigorously highlighted.

The Prime Minister, he said, presented a dossier on Indian atrocities in the IOK to the United Nations Secretary General in September in New York. The dossier had also been shared with other key countries and international organizations, he added.

Another dossier on the activities of Indian spy Kulbushan Jadev, he said, would also be finalized in the near future.

Sartaj said Pakistani missions were also keeping close liaison with the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora (in the respective countries). The missions abroad, including New Delhi, were making outreach efforts to highlight the extremist Indian policies, he added.

Under the guidance of Prime Minister, the government had pursued a policy of “peaceful neighbourhood” since June 2013, he said.

He said the OIC’s independent Human Rights Commission had also requested India to give them access to the IoK to see the human rights situation but the India did not accept it.

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The Advisor said Pakistan would continue to remain engaged with the OIC and its members to play a more robust role o the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

He said Pakistan had expressed its willingness to resume a meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process with India with a view to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan had also welcomed the offer of the UN Secretary General to use his good offices for talks with India, he added.

He said the government had zero tolerance for terrorism. The successful conduct of Zarb-e-Azb against militants and sacrifices rendered by the people of Pakistan, armed forces and law enforcing
agencies clearly demonstrated Pakistan’s commitment to root out the menace of terrorism, he said.

Regarding the Indus Waters Treaty, the Advisor said the treaty could not be revoked unilaterally and India was under international obligations to respect its provisions. The World Bank had also been approached in that regard, he said.

He said the Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs with the status of a federal minister was already performing the role and the functions of the Foreign Minister and was regarded as such by the international community.