Islamabad on Thursday welcomed the call by Human Rights Watch (HRW) for an independent investigation into the extra-judicial killings of innocent Kashmiris by Indian armed forces.
In his weekly press conference, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan will continue to hold India accountable for its crimes against the innocent people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) and extend its full support in their struggle for their right to self-determination.
The spokesperson said the people of IIOJ&K have been under an inhuman military siege since August 5, 2019, and the Indian Army have continued to violate every single right of the Kashmiri people, including their right to liberty, health, education, expression, assembly and freedom of religion.
“The Indian government has turned IIOJ&K into the world’s largest open prison and the most militarised zone in the world.”
The FO said Pakistan strongly condemns the recent extrajudicial killing of three Kashmiri laborers from Rajouri in a fake encounter in the Shopian region of Kashmir.
Since the start of 2020, over 200 innocent Kashmiris have been martyred by the Indian armed forces in fake encounters and so-called ‘cordon-and-search’ operations.
The spokesperson highlighted BJP’s Hindutva agenda which is targetting innocent Kashmiris and inflicting collective punishment on them. He said hate speech is another agenda of the BJP government and mentioned two separate incidents of derogatory and blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in India and IIOJ&K.
She said Islamabad strongly condemns these deliberate attempts to instigate communal violence, which has been used to target Muslims.
The FO spokesperson said Pakistan has called on the Indian government to investigate the incidents and take immediate action against those involved.
The Indian government must allow ensure safety, security and well-being of the Muslim community, he said.
Chaudhri discussed the president-elect of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Volkan Bozkir’s visit to Pakistan on August 9.
During his visit, Bozkir called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also held wide-ranging discussions with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Qureshi briefed Bozkir on Pakistan’s priorities for the 75th session, including Covid-19, the premier’s Global Initiative on Debt Relief and other matters of mutual interest.
The foreign minister informed Bozkir about the gross human rights violation in IIOJ&K. He urged the United Nations (UN) to help resolve the dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC Resolutions.
Prime Minister Imran Khan apprised Bozkir about the government’s initiatives to stabilise the economy amid the pandemic.
He said the government was following a ‘people centruc’ vision in providing relief to the poorest segments of society, while continuing to promote the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The premier called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to congratulate him on this party’s victory in the general elections held on August 5, 2020.
He hoped to strengthen bilateral relations with Sri Lanka during Rajapaksa’s term in office.
He also called Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and discussed Pakistan’s stance on peace and security in South Asia.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during a telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed bilateral relations and developments in the region.
Pompeo appreciated Pakistan’s pivotal role in the Afghan peace process and Qureshi apprised Pompeo of the brutalities faced by the people of Kashmir in IIOJ&K.
Furthermore, the spokesperson said Qureshi held a video conference with his Uzbekistan counterpart to discuss the pandemic and bilateral cooperation.
To recognise the contributions made by overseas Pakistanis during the pandemic, Qureshi honoured 86 overseas Pakistanis and termed them ‘a great asset’ for the country.
The FO spokesperson said Pakistan is happy to see progress in the Afghan peace process and believes that every effort must be made to seize the historic opportunity Pakistan has set in Afghanistan today.