ISLAMABAD: India’s attempts to isolate Pakistan have backfired, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry told a Senate panel on Thursday.
“India wants to use the United Nations platform to defame Pakistan… [but] its efforts to isolate Pakistan have backfired,” he said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. “In fact, New Delhi itself stands isolated because of its policies.”
The foreign secretary added that the issue of Masood Azhar, chief of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad, will be tackled according to the National Action Plan. He told the panel that tackling the issue was not as simple and added that India is trying to get his name on the list of UN designated terrorists.
Separately, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee
on Defence Mushahid Hussain Syed, told reporters that India is deploying additional troops along the Line of Control (LoC) and aircraft to the forward bases.
After the joint meeting of Senate committees on defence and foreign affairs on Indo-Pak tensions, Mushahid revealed that India had deployed its premier Su-30 fighter jets to the forward bases. However, the senator added that Pakistani armed forces are fully capable to respond to any challenge from India.
Mushahid also denounced India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling Pakistan the ‘mothership of terrorism’ during the recent Brics summit.
Indian deputy high commissioner summoned
Tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi continue to soar as India’s deputy high commissioner was summoned in by the Director General (SA & Saarc) on Thursday to lodge a strong protest over the latest ceasefire violations at the LoC by the Indian forces.
“A strong protest was lodged against the unprovoked ceasefire violations on 19-20 October 2016, by the Indian occupation forces at the Line of control in Karela Sector, which resulted in martyrdom of one civilian, Mr. Abdul Rehman S/o Gul Zaman, age 28 years. Twelve civilians including children and women were injured as a result of the Indian fire,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.
It was conveyed that the Indian side must investigate the incident and share the findings with Pakistan, India must instruct its troops to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, refrain from intentionally targeting the villages and maintain peace and stability on the LoC.
“Pakistan notes with deep concern that during the last couple of months, there have been a number of ceasefire violations from the Indian side on the LoC and the Working Boundary,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said India has committed more than 100 ceasefire violations in 2016 alone. The spokesperson said India attempts to isolate Pakistan had ‘miserably’ failed. “Given Pakistan’s geo-strategically important situation in the region of international interest, the very notion of isolating Pakistan is ridiculous,” Zakaria asserted.
He said Indian obsession to malign Pakistan had not been appreciated by the mature countries. Besides, Indian negative policies towards Pakistan and regional integration efforts under various regional groupings had exposed India as the biggest hurdle in the development of the region, which was a hub of world’s largest poor population.
“Indian activities should be seen as its desperation to deflect international attention from its crimes against humanity in IOK,” the spokesperson said. “The Indian denial to resolve all outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute are clearly at tangent with its claims for a peaceful neighborhood,” he maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2016.