ISLAMABAD : Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Thursday says that India is the main obstacle towards achieving peace and stability in the region, sending agents such as Kulbhushan Yadav into foreign countries for perpetrating sabotage operations. Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui told a weekly press briefing that India had approached the International Court of Justice for the release of Kulbhushan Yadav after he was arrested and confessed to committing sabotage activities in Balochistan in 2016. She said that India’s oppression and barbarism is at its peak in Kashmir, the international community should take notice of innumerable human rights violations in the valley. The Indian Army is deliberately targeting the civilian population which has been under lockdown for over a year. She also urged the international media to speak out against Indian atrocities against the Kashmiris. Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui has reiterated for enhanced international monitoring and continued UN reporting on the human rights crisis in Indian occupied Kashmir to save lives, dignity and freedoms of Kashmiris. She said that continued brutalization of innocent people in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir had entered 346th day after India revoked the special status of IOJ&K on August 5 last year. She said Kashmiris were facing illegal occupation of Indian security forces for over seven decades. She mentioned that recently, the Indian occupation forces during their continued so-called cordon and search operations martyred eight Kashmiris including Idrees Ahmad Bhat, Ajaz Ahmad, Muahmmad Usman, Saifullah Mir, Zahid Ahmad and Waleed Ahmad in Kupwara, Baramulla and Islamabad districts of IOJ&K. The FO Spokesperson said the UN human rights machinery in recent months had highlighted India’s non-compliance with its international human rights obligations. “Through several official communications, nearly a dozen UN Special Rapporteurs have raised serious concerns over India’s consistent pattern of arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, corporal punishment, extra-judicial killings, and physical and digital lockdown in occupied Jammu & Kashmir,” she added. On 89th Kashmir Martyrs’ Day, she said the government and people of Pakistan joined Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and across the globe to pay homage to the 22 innocent, unarmed Kashmiris who stood up for truth and justice against the tyranny of Dogra force in 1931. She said across the world, conferences, webinars and peace walks were organized to draw the attention of the world conscience towards the long struggle for fundamental rights of the people of IOJK. During last week, she said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held telephone conversations with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor and Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization. “In these interactions, the Foreign Minister shared our deep concern over the situation in IOJK and underlined the importance of urgent steps by the international community to help address the grave situation,” she said. Other matters of mutual interest were also discussed including COVID-19 pandemic, regional security in South Asia, suspension of Pakistan International Airline flights into European Union and the Prime Minister’s call for Global Debt Relief Initiative for developing countries. The Spokesperson said on July 7, 2020, the third round of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue was held via video link, where Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood co-chaired the dialogue. “All three sides held in-depth discussions and reached consensus on cooperation against COVID-19, the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and trilateral cooperation and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening communication and coordination and enhancing mutual trust and cooperation under the trilateral cooperation mechanism,” she said. Farooqui said the Foreign Secretary also held a video conference with Spanish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs on 7 July 2020. They exchanged views on a broad range of subjects including response to COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral relations and close cooperation in multi-lateral fora as well as the regional situation. The two sides also reviewed the situation in Afghanistan and progress in Afghan peace process. Speaking about Pakistanis abroad, Aisha Farooqui said that Pakistanis continue to arrive back in Pakistan from abroad amid the coronavirus outbreak and the government is fully cooperating with them. As of July 14, she said, 221,279 Pakistani citizens have been repatriated from different parts of the world.
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