‘Goodwill gesture, not pressure’ the reason behind Indian pilot’s release: FO

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 29 (APP): The Foreign Office on Thursday categorically rejected the impression that the release of captured Indian air force pilot by Pakistan last February, was made under any pressure.

“There was no pressure on the Pakistani government to release Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said at the weekly press briefing, held here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The release was made as a message of peace and goodwill,” he said.

The Spokesperson was responding to a query regarding the statement of a politician of Pakistan Muslim League-N, who alleged that pilot Abhinandan was released under pressure after his fighter aircraft was downed inside the Pakistan territory.

There was no pressure on the Pakistani government to release Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan

The Spokesperson said Pakistan’s Armed Forces were still ready to deal with all threats.
“India will find the leadership, the people and Armed Forces of Pakistan ready in the event of any misadventure against its territories as evidently demonstrated in February last year,” he added.

He said India was involved in terrorist activities inside Pakistan and its spies had been caught several times.

He said India’s involvement in the recent bomb blast at a madressah in Peshawar could not be ruled out.

India’s involvement in the recent bomb blast at a madressah in Peshawar could not be ruled out

To a question regarding case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, currently on a death row in Pakistan, the Spokesperson said Pakistan had made an offer for a third time consular access, however with no positive response from India.

He said Pakistan would not amend its laws to allow an Indian counsel before Pakistan courts, adding that India should cooperate in this regard.

On Islamophobia, he said Pakistan strongly condemned the systematic resurgence of acts of republication of blasphemous sketches and desecration of the Holy Quran by certain irresponsible elements in some developed countries.

“We are further alarmed at the highly disturbing statements by certain politicians justifying such heinous acts under the garb of freedom of expression and equating Islam with terrorism, for narrow electoral and political gains,” he said.

The Spokesperson said Pakistan always supported and continued to lead international efforts for combating intolerance, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion or belief.

On the regional security, he said Pakistan had taken note of the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) between India and the United States.

“Pakistan has been consistently highlighting the threats posed to strategic stability in South Asia as a result of provision of advanced military hardware, technologies and knowledge to India,” he said.

The Spokesperson said India’s massive acquisition of armaments and expansion of its nuclear forces, including introduction of new destabilizing weapon systems, were developments with serious repercussions for peace and stability in South Asia.

“These developments clearly negate the argument that India’s mainstreaming in the international export control regimes, will further the non-proliferation objectives of these regimes,” he said.

The FO Spokesperson said Pakistan categorically rejected the Indian government’s illegal amendments in land ownership laws in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) promulgated under “J&K Re-organisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020”.

He expressed deep concerns over the raids by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) on offices and residences of journalists and human rights activists and non-profit organizations, including Coalition of Civil Society, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, and Greater Kashmir newspaper in IIOJK.

Zahid Chaudhri said Pakistan strongly condemned the drone attacks launched towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Houthi militia on Wednesday.

He said Pakistan appreciated the successful interception of the drones, which prevented the loss of innocent lives.

“Pakistan reiterates its full support and solidarity with Saudi Arabia against any threats to its security and territorial integrity,” he said.