Wednesday February 21, 2024

Afghanistan must stop blaming Pakistan for own weaknesses: FO

By our correspondents
June 02, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday rejected the Afghan accusations that Pakistan was behind the recent suicide attack in Kabul and asked the Afghan authorities to stop blaming Pakistan for its own weaknesses.

In his weekly media briefing at the Foreign Office, Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said the accusatory approach was unhelpful towards efforts for peace. “We have suffered from terrorism and made unparalleled sacrifices. We have done more than any other nation in the world in the fight against terrorism.

"Pakistan has highest stakes in peace and stability in Afghanistan. No country gets affected more than Pakistan due to instability in Afghanistan.  "Pakistan's commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan is, therefore, beyond any doubt”, he said.

The spokesman pointed to the Pakistan-China-Afghanistan trilateral summit on practical cooperation held in Beijing on May 27, 2017. “The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere with a positive and constructive approach to move forward in economic cooperation. The three countries have agreed to focus on enhancing practical cooperation in important areas of trilateral interaction including health, education, infrastructure development, railroad connectivity, energy, etc," he said.

Further, it was mutually agreed to make these consultations a regular process with a view to moving forward in enhancing cooperation on major economic projects.

“Compared to the other initiatives including QCG, which is a political approach for national reconciliation, this meeting was more focused on the economic side, particularly the projects in health, education and infrastructure development sectors. You are aware that due to the conflict situation there, for almost four decades the Afghan people are suffering. War has devastated the infrastructure there. Assistance is needed in these areas for which China, Pakistan and Afghanistan have come together”, he added.

Talking about the brutalities of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir, he said: “Unfortunately and condemningly, the Indian occupation forces continue with their brutalities against the defenceless Kashmiris.

"In just last five days, they have martyred more than a dozen innocent Kashmiris, including three in extra-judicial killings.  "During the last month, 28 Kashmiris were martyred, 945 were seriously injured and many hundreds arbitrarily arrested,” Zakaria said.

To several queries, he pointed out that the scale of ongoing movement was so widespread that no one believed that it could be driven from outside. “Young Kashmiris, including mostly students, girls and boys, are part of the struggle against India’s illegal occupation of Jammu & Kashmir. This is that generation of Kashmiris which has been witnessing Indian brutalities ever since they were born. They have witnessed India’s unabated repression, humiliation and torture of the indigenous Kashmiris”, he added.

“This generation has been maimed, blinded, tortured, dishonored, abducted and ruthlessly killed by Indian occupation forces with complete impunity. You need to see their sentiments and reaction in this backdrop,” he said.

Amidst the Indian media propaganda regarding the RAW agent Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav at the ICJ, the spokesman noted:

1. Indian media, based on the reported briefing by official quarters, called ICJ’s letter dated 8 May 2017, the day India filed its petition, to the Government of Pakistan as ‘Stay on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution. This is a lie. The ICJ noted that lie.

2.  The ICJ stated clearly that its decision on provisional measures was not concerned with jurisdiction/merits. The court considered that Commander Kulbhushan would not be executed until the full hearing. This is nothing unusual.

Irrespective of ICJ’s stay, Commander Jadhav would remain alive, until he has exhausted the right to request for clemency, initially with the COAS and later with the President of Pakistan.

3. A full hearing will take place after the court sets down a timetable on June 8 at The Hague. We have given the court our arguments on merits and jurisdiction. It has not ruled on any of these arguments.

4. The Jadhav case at the ICJ concerns whether he is entitled to consular access. Pakistan’s position in this regard has been made clear. We had sought information from India on 23rd January 2017, on the basis of Commander Jadhav’s confession and statements.  India has not responded despite reminders.

5. In three previous cases in ICJ, the request for release or acquittal was not granted by the court. The court stated that it does not have the power to make such orders.

6. Jadhav case purview: The case is about whether Commander Jadhav is entitled to consular access because of the 1963 VCCR. It is NOT about whether the ICJ can act as a Court of Appeal from Pakistani legal proceedings. That is why Barrister Khawar Qureshi informed the court that India cannot obtain from the court what it was seeking. He also told the court that India was using the media to create a false impression about the case.

7. Suspicions were created regarding Khawar Qureshi’s competence. You may note that he is consistently rated by the legal directories as one of the UK’s top international lawyers. He was the youngest advocate to appear in the ICJ in 1993 in the genocide case (for Bosnia against Serbia). He has undertaken hundreds of cases involving various international governments (US, Russia, Italy, Kazakhstan to name a few) before all levels of the English courts, as well as international arbitral tribunals and the International Court of Justice. He has acted or advised on matters involving around 80 different jurisdictions. As an English Barrister, he is bound to represent any client without discrimination.

8. Contrary to Indian media’s disinformation about Barrister Khawar Qureshi’s legal fee, I wish to inform you that he has charged highly discounted fees. He himself covered the costs of his juniors’ fees and even cancelled other professional commitments for another government in order to assist Pakistan.

9. The propaganda that our side did not counter the Indian argument related to 2008 consular access agreement is also a lie. In fact, Khawar Qureshi, QC, read out the entire 2008 Agreement from start to finish in his oral submissions and explained why (contrary to India’s submissions) the 2008 Agreement was relevant, that it amplified or supplemented the Vienna Convention and that it made expressly clear that national security matters were to be decided by each country on the merits.

10. There were doubts raised about Barrister Khawar Qureshi due to negative Indian media campaign. For that purpose, it would be advisable that all of you go through his CV, and you would know his experience, skills and professional credentials.