ISLAMABAD: Making a renewed call to the international community to stop Indian atrocities in the disputed Himalayan region, Islamabad has accused New Delhi of declaring an all-out war on Kashmiri students.
“Indian occupation forces have launched an all-out war on Kashmiri students. They have attacked women’s education institutions as well. A dozen colleges have been attacked, injuring thousands of students – both boys and girls,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said at a weekly news briefing on Thursday.
He alleged that India – challenging the international community – had displayed complete disregard for the UN Charter and International covenant and conventions.
“Recently, leaked several videos, openly showing use of human shield, beating, abusing and humiliating Kashmiris in IoK [Indian Occupied Kashmir] by the occupation forces, is a manifestation,” he said.
The spokesperson said Indian brutalities, murder and blinding could not deter Kashmiri pro-freedom struggle and spirit. “We remain committed to extending our unflinching moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris,” Zakaria said.
Talking with reference to the recent by-elections in the valley, the spokesperson said the will of Kashmiris in IoK was clearly visible in their outright rejection of the ‘sham elections’ there.
“Our prime minister, while calling upon the international community to stop Indian atrocities in IoK, rightly said that the ‘use of brute force against innocent Kashmiris, who refused to participate in the sham elections, cannot suppress their human urge of freedom’,” he added.
“Harrowing stories from IOK continue to raise concerns in Pakistan.”
Asked to comment on the possibility of a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (OIC), he said nothing has been finalised yet.
However, he added, Pakistan was always committed to sustained engagement with India to discuss all outstanding issues, including Kashmir. Modi and Sharif would be gathering in Astana, Kazakhstan, for the SCO summit in June. Pakistan and India would formally be admitted as full members of the grouping.
About India’s reaction to the sentencing of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, Zakaria cautioned that inflammatory statements emanating from India were against international norms and would only result in escalation, serving no constructive purpose.
“The reaction from India, especially withholding release of Pakistani prisoners who have completed their sentences, for a spy and terrorist working against Pakistan’s national interests is disappointing,” he added.
Commenting on the disappearance of a retired Pakistan colonel from Nepal earlier this month, the spokesperson said Pakistan had approached Nepal’s government to trace Col Habib Zahir.
“In view of the revelations about the fake emails and website he was contacted from, we cannot rule out foul play by hostile agencies in his disappearance,” he said.
He said Islamabad has also shared additional information with Kathmandu on April 18 about the individuals who had reportedly received Zahir at Lumbini, made his hotel reservations and booked his tickets.
“[These details] we believe may be helpful in locating him. His family is very distressed and we hope he is located at the earliest,” the spokesperson said.
Regarding the recent visit of US National Security Adviser MacMaster, he said Pakistan was looking forward to developing understanding with the new US administration on key regional issues, including Afghanistan.
He quashed the impression that Pakistan’s fight against terrorism was selective, saying that the country’s anti-terror gains and sacrifices were duly acknowledged by the international community, including the US.
To a question, the spokesperson clarified that there was no organised presence of middle-eastern terror outfit Islamic State, or Da’ish, in Pakistan.