ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday strongly condemned the continuing extrajudicial killings by Indian occupation forces in fake encounters and phony cordon-and-search operations in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmri (IOJ&K).
“The cold-blooded murder of innocent Kashmiris like Peer Mehrajuddin in Budgam on 13 May is another clear manifestation of the state terrorism to which unarmed Kashmiris have been subjected to for the past seven decades,” Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a televised news conference.
According to the spokesperson, in April alone, Indian occupation forces martyred 33 Kashmiris and seriously injured over 150 with complete impunity under draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Public Safety Act (PSA) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
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“As a testament to the inhumanity of Indian occupation forces, even the mortal remains of the Shuhuda are not handed over to their families. When thousands of Kashmiri men, women and children take to the streets to protest against Indian brutalities, pellet guns and live ammunition are used against them, resulting in further human loss.”
Farooqui said that the Indian occupation forces’ relentless campaign of brutalisation, including incarcerations and arbitrary arrests, even during the holy month of Ramazan continued unabated. “The repression of journalists to muzzle the voices of Kashmiri people and utter disregard for human rights and humanitarian norms even in the middle of a pandemic is reprehensible.”
Farooqui said that India must realise that it could not suppress the will of the Kashmiri people and their indigenous movement against the illegal Indian occupation. The rightful struggle of the Kashmiri people would continue till the realisation of their right to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, she added.
“We call upon the international community to take immediate notice of the alarming situation in IOJ&K and hold India accountable for state-terrorism, extrajudicial killings, and gross and systematic violations of human rights,” the spokesperson said.
“It is a shared responsibility of the world community to seek immediate resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.”
In its latest report, the Human Rights Watch noted that hate speech against Muslims, already a serious and growing problem since the election of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015, increased in connection with the spread of Covid-19.
The report also underlined that several physical attacks on Muslims had occurred, adding that some mainstream media, supportive of the BJP, had used terms like #CoronaJihad, causing the hashtag to go viral on social media.
“The situation grew so serious that the WHO issued a statement of caution, noting that it is very important that we do not profile the cases on the basis of racial, religious, and ethnic lines,” the spokesperson said.
She said the Indian authorities at the national and local level had not taken adequate steps to stem the increasingly toxic atmosphere or conduct adequate investigations of attacks where appropriate.
She also said that Pakistan had seen reports about the framework agreement by Israel’s coalition government, proposing “annexation” of the West Bank, with grave concern. “Pakistan is opposed to any move for annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories as it would be a serious violation of international law and a dangerous escalation in an already volatile situation,” she said.
“The West Bank and Jordan Valley are Palestinian territories, illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. Pakistan supports the position adopted by the UN and the OIC on the issue of Palestine and calls upon the international community to uphold and support the rights of the Palestinians.”
She reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support for the two-state solution of the Palestine issue as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Pakistan renewed its call for the establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous state of Palestine, on the basis of internationally-agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
“We would also like to underscore that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the Palestinian issue continue to be the longest standing items on the UN and OIC agenda. The attempts being made by the occupying powers in Palestine and Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir are essentially similar, particularly with reference to human rights violations, seeking to alter the demographic structure, and posing threat to peace and security. Both these situations are worsening and call for urgent attention of the international community.”
On Afghanistan Farooqui said the foreign minister hoped that the Afghan leadership would seize the historic opportunity to work out a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement. The SCO, through the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, could play a facilitative role in this regard, she added.
She condemned the cowardly terrorist attack on a medical facility in Kabul as well as the suicide attack at a funeral in Nangarhar province, which resulted in loss of precious lives. “It is horrifying that women and infants be targeted in a hospital, or mourners be killed in a funeral. These terrorist acts are particularly despicable as they take place in the holy month of Ramazan and at a time when Afghanistan is grappling with Covid-19 pandemic,” Farooqui said.
“Pakistan stands with the Afghan people in this hour of grief. Underscoring our strong condemnation of these heinous terrorist attacks, we once again reiterate our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and reassure the Afghan people of our unflinching support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.”
On repatriation of the Pakistanis, Farooqui said the Foreign Office and the missions across the world, continued to provide overseas Pakistanis with relief and assistance wherever required. “Our embassies and consulates are working round the clock in facilitating repatriation of our citizens back home, in accordance with a comprehensive repatriation plan devised in consultation with all stakeholders.”
In the past few days, 570 Pakistani nationals were brought back from the United States on two special PIA flights. “These are the first two of the six special charter flights arranged for our stranded citizens in the United States. We thank the authorities in the US for their cooperation in safe repatriation of our nationals through these special flights,” she said.
In addition to these, in the past week, 263 nationals returned home safely from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, 120 from Bangladesh, 108 from South Africa and several neighbouring African countries including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, and 65 from six European countries (Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Czech Republic).
“So far 24,466 have been repatriated from more than 35 countries. Weekly number of nationals returning home has been steadily increasing from 2,000 to about 7000 per week.”