Thursday September 28, 2023

Old chancery building in Washington to go under the hammer: FO

December 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Thursday said the federal cabinet had approved the sale of old chancery building on R-Street in northwest Washington, DC, on the recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee.

Addressing the weekly presser here, spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said the building in question was smaller of the two buildings in which the Embassy of Pakistan was situated in the past and had become vacant in 2003 when the embassy moved to the new premises.

She said the sale of the property had become important, as not only was it vacant and in disrepair, but also because the building no longer enjoyed diplomatic status and was subject to local building and taxation regulations.

“The Government of Pakistan has, therefore, decided, after a thorough inter-ministerial process, that the property will be sold in an open bidding process fulfilling all codal and legal formalities,” she explained.

The spokeswoman rejected a statement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on the recent visit of OIC secretary general.

“We consider this statement as untenable. Jammu and Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest internationally-recognised disputes on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. The dispute remains unresolved due to India’s intransigence and unwillingness to implement the relevant UNSC resolutions. In that backdrop, it is important that the international community including the OIC continue to play their role in highlighting the atrocities in IIOJ&K,” said the spokeswoman.

She pointed out that instead of dismissing the international community’s concerns as reflected in various OIC resolutions,

India should pay heed to them, end state terrorism in IIOJ&K and take concrete steps towards implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on this matter.

The spokeswoman said India’s remarks and statements basically reflected its hubris and callousness and oversimplification of a complicated relationship between the two nuclear armed neighbours.

“They also reflected disregard for the universally acknowledged principles of inter-state relations, especially sovereign

equality, and mutual respect. Its state-sponsored terrorism continues to create instability in the region. We also believe that peace in South Asia has remained hostage to India’s illegal occupation of and brutality in Jammu and Kashmir. India is well advised to put an end to the human rights violation of Kashmiris. We also believe that India’s hegemonic ambitions have caused tensions with its neighbours and its hubris for domination remains a primary obstacle to meaningful regional cooperation,” she added.