ISLAMABAD: As international leaders gather in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to discuss climate change issues facing the world during the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28), Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch shared that no meeting is scheduled to be held between the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers.
“No meeting is planned between Pak-India leadership in Dubai,” said Baloch during her weekly press briefing.
The spokesperson’s comment comes as Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar is in the UAE to represent Pakistan.
At the same time, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also in the UAE for the COP28 summit.
Earlier the PM Office, in a statement on the visit, said that the premier would hold meetings with various world leaders on the sidelines of the conference without naming them.
In the press conference, the spokesperson also spoke on the repatriation of illegal Afghans back to Afghanistan.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan feels “satisfied” with the process, adding that a large number of illegal Afghans were returning voluntarily.
“Afghanistan has been facing problems for a long time. The international community should help the Afghan nation and government in rebuilding [process],” said the spokesperson. She added that Pakistan sympathises with the uncertain situation in Afghanistan.
Moreover, the spokesperson shared that Afghan citizens who have been repatriated to Afghanistan can return to Pakistan but with a valid visa.
“Pakistan is concerned about the use of Afghan soil on terrorist incidents in Pakistan. It is hoped that the Afghan authorities will take action against the TTP terrorists involved in terrorism in Pakistan,” said Baloch.
The spokesperson, while reiterating Islamabad’s call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, shared that Pakistan was delivering aid to Gaza through Rafah Crossing — the besieged strip’s border with Egypt.
Baloch also shared that the world was facing difficulties in delivering aid to Gaza due to the Israeli blockade on the strip.
The spokesperson's comments came after a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas ended with a resumption of the fighting in Gaza.
The seven-day pause, which began on Nov 24 and was extended twice, had allowed for the exchange of dozens of hostages held in Gaza for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid into the shattered coastal strip.
"We are disappointed that after a brief pause, Israel has restarted bombing the Palestinian people. The temporary pause offered a crucial respite to the suffering people of Gaza and allowed the exchange of prisoners. Pakistan reiterates its call for a durable and sustained ceasefire to enable the supply of extensive and robust humanitarian assistance; urgent medical aid to the injured; and shelter to those who have been displaced as a result of an indiscriminate and inhumane bombing campaign by Israeli occupation forces.
"We are deeply concerned at the escalating Israeli aggression against the West Bank and the escalation of hostile acts against the Palestinian population. We strongly condemn the Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp and acts of violence and repression against the returning prisoners and their families."
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