FO refutes media reports regarding U.S pressure on Pakistan to recognize Israel

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22 (APP): Pakistan on Thursday warned India of a “full spectrum response” in case of any misadventure in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) or Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

As Gilgit Baltistan gears up for general elections on November 15, the Foreign Office spokesperson in reaction to “ironic and provocative” statements of senior Indian political and military leaders said any misadventure by India would invite a befitting response.

“In case of any misadventure by India, Pakistan’s actions will speak louder than India’s words,” Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said at a weekly press briefing.

He said the Indian leadership made a career out of issuing provocative statements against Pakistan at the cost of putting regional peace and security at risk.

“India must not underestimate the resolve of Pakistani nation as well as the capacity, professionalism and the level of preparedness of our battle-hardened armed forces,” he said.

He urged the India to be mindful of its defence limitations that were embarrassingly exposed first in Balakot and more recently in Ladhakh.

On “malicious and fabricated propaganda” by Indian mainstream and social media claiming civil unrest in Pakistan, he said planting such baseless stories was reflective of the “Pakistan-obsessed BJP-RSS” mindset.

“Needless to say that Indian media continues to hit new lows,” he said, when asked to respond over the series of fake news flashed as breaking news across the Indian media about a “civil war in Pakistan”.

The spokesperson said through “peddling fake news and running propaganda machinery”, India could not wash away the truth about its own gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

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“Rather than reporting on humanitarian crisis in IIOJK, the Indian media chooses to spread fake and sensational news about Pakistan to detract from core issues,” he said.

On India opening a museum in Srinagar to replace the ‘historic narrative of 1947’s indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris with Pakistan’s aggression’, the spokesperson said India’s propaganda had already exposed before the world and such attempts would also go in vain.

He mentioned that oppression and communications blockade in IIOJK entered the 444th day since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 with 18 innocent Kashmiris martyred in the month of October alone and 60 youth arrested on frivolous charges.

He termed the illegal Indian actions a clear violation of the ‘UN basic principles on use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials’ and the ‘UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials’.

The spokesperson said Pakistan would continue to highlight the grim human rights situation in IIOJK at all relevant international forums, including the United Nations, and the human rights and humanitarian organizations.

The Foreign Office spokesperson termed as ‘baseless and speculative” the news reports claiming Saudi Arabia voting against Pakistan as the latter made efforts to come out of the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

He said the news was based on “lack of knowledge”, adding that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed strong fraternal ties and the two countries always cooperated with each other on all matters of bilateral, regional and international importance”.

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“Pakistan greatly values its relations with the brotherly Saudi Arabia and firmly rejects such malicious propaganda,” he said.

He hoped that the FATF would also consider the reports about 44 Indian banks involved in money-laundering and terror-financing during the country’s upcoming Mutual Evaluation Review in February.

Asked to comment over Afghan leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar paying a visit to Pakistan soon after Dr Abdullah Abdullah’s visit, he said, “These were part of engagements with all stakeholders and Pakistan’s contribution to the peace process”.

He said Pakistan favoured a broad-based and comprehensive peace process and believed inclusion of all parties to attain sustainable peace in its neighbouring country and the region.

On case status of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the spokesperson said Pakistan’s courts would decide over the matter in compliance with the verdict of International Court of Justice to hold a “review and reconsideration” of the death sentence of the Indian serving navy commander.

To a question on the United States sanctions against Iran, he said Pakistan intended to enhance trade and political relations with Iran as the two countries had close cooperation based on shared history.

The Foreign Office spokesperson ruled the notion that a few Muslim countries were pressurizing Pakistan to recognize Israel, saying, “Pakistan was a sovereign state to have its own decisions and there was no change in policy on Israel”.

On postponed visit of Bosnian president, he said new dates would be announced after the programme was finalized.