FO blasts India slander campaign against Pakistan

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Hails peace agreement in Afghanistan

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—The Foreign Office (FO) on Sunday rejected accusations levelled by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that India was “trying to distract world attention from the atrocities perpetrated by its occupation forces” in India-held Kashmir (IHK).
The FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said, “It is unfortunate that Indian leadership continues to indulge in a well-thought-out vilification campaign against Pakistan by making provocative statements and baseless accusations.”
He added that such an irresponsible display of behaviour at the highest political level was regrettable.
Zakaria reiterated that Indian forces were “using brute force against innocent and defenceless Kashmiris, including children and women”.
“These atrocities have intensified since the extra-judicial killing of Kashmiri youth leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani in July this year,” he said.
The spokesperson stated that the international community has also taken notice of these blatant human rights violations, with concerns expressed by several countries as well as the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. He said there are increasing demands for independent investigations and fact-finding missions to be sent to IHK.
Zakaria alleged that although India has “cast aspersions on Pakistan, it continues to sponsor terrorism in Pakistan directly through its state apparatus.”
“The arrest and confessional statements of a serving Indian Navy officer and intelligence operative, Kulbhushan Yadhav, reveal beyond a shadow of doubt how India fuels terrorist activities in various parts of Pakistan, including Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.”
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, addressing the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers in New York on Saturday, said that the aggression of the Indian forces in IHK took a new turn after the July 8 “extrajudicial killing of Kashmiri youth leader Burhan Wani”.
He said that “over 100 innocent Kashmiris had lost their lives” in subsequent clashes with security forces, whereas “thousands of Kashmiri men, women and children were injured, many seriously”.
The deliberate and indiscriminate use of gun pellets against Kashmiris had blinded 150 people, he added.
Aziz called on the international community to demand cessation of state-sponsored policies of suppression in IHK, to ensure that the fundamental rights of Kashmiris are respected, and that the UNSC resolutions affording Kashmiris their right to self-determination are implemented by India.
Meanwhile, Pakistan welcomed on Sunday the signing of peace agreement between the Afghan government and the armed resistance group Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan and said it supports the Afghan-owned Afghan-led peace efforts.
The peace deal was signed in Kabul on Thursday after months of negotiations that will allow the group to start political activities and take part in elections. The group will declare permanent ceasefire, the 25-point peace agreement says.
“Pakistan welcomes the recent agreement signed between Government of Afghanistan and Hekmatyar (Chief of Hizb-e-Islami),” the Foreign Ministry said.
“Pakistan wishes to see peace in Afghanistan and we support all sincere Afghan owned and Afghan led peace efforts to that end,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
The statement said the people of Afghanistan deserve peace and prosperity, adding Pakistan remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan as it is in the larger interest of the region and Pakistan in particular.
The agreement will pave the way for the return of Hekmatyar to Kabul in weeks to seal the agreement along with President Ashraf Ghani.
The United States had designated Hekmatyar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2003 for his “support to terrorist acts committed by al-Qa’ida and the Taliban,” according to the State Department.
Kabul will approach the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. and other institutions to “lift restrictions by them against Hizb-e-Islami party of Afghanistan, its leadership and members as soon as possible.”

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