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May 18, 2018

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US promised Col Joseph to face trial: FO

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is confident that the United States will ensure that US Defence Attaché Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall will be made to undergo criminal or administrative action in US courts for a murder committed in Pakistan.

The US diplomat was involved in an accident where his vehicle crushed to death a Pakistani citizen. Previously also, a CIA contractor Raymond Davis who had murdered in cold blood Pakistani citizens, was allowed to leave Pakistan under the same pretext, but he did not appear to have been taken to a US court.

Responding to an uproar in Pakistan over allowing Colonel Joseph to escape, a spokesman at the Foreign Office responded, “The US has assured us that it will initiate criminal/administrative action against Col Joseph in the US courts. “I have no information regarding blood money. You can get further details from the Ministry of Interior,” he said.

The spokesman was also unable to explain why certain concessions were given to US diplomats, a blind eye was turned to them and when Washington turned the heat on Pakistani diplomats these concessions were revoked. The spokesman to this query put the blame on the “last government”. The spokesman said Pakistan has called on the United Nations and the international community to investigate and bring to end the use of force, which has resulted in causalities of innocent Palestinian civilians, including women, children and the elderly. “Pakistan also renews its call for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous state of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” said the spokesman. In this regard, Turkey has called for an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) after the Israeli forces’ killing spree in Gaza.

“The prime minister will attend the meeting. The foreign secretary is already in Turkey for senior official meeting of the OIC. We expect some positive outcome after the meeting,” he added. Pakistan and Afghanistan during the fourth round of discussions in Islamabad on May 14 finalised the Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).

“Five working groups have been operationalised for meaningful engagement, namely Politico-Diplomatic Working Group, Economic Working Group, Refugee Working Group, Military to Military Coordination, and Intelligence Cooperation,” he added.

As the Modi government fell to a new low and deported Ms Moneezae Hashmi from Delhi, the spokesman condemned this move. “The treatment of Ms Hashmi, daughter of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, by India is deeply regrettable and a breach of basic courtesy. The continuing ban on Pakistani artists prohibiting them from performing in India reflects the intolerance and xenophobia, especially against Pakistan rampant in increasingly large sections of the Indian society. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in Pakistan where Indian artists continue to participate in literary festivals and films,” he said.

APP adds: The Foreign Office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC) in Hotspring’s sector resulting in the Shahadat of one innocent civilian. During his weekly media briefing here, the FO spokesman said the Indian forces along the LoC and the working boundary are continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons.

In 2018, the Indian forces carried out more than 1,000 ceasefire violations along the LoC and WB resulting in the Shahadat of 24 innocent civilians, while injuring 107 others. He said the people of IHK continued to endure untold sufferings, and face gross and systematic violations of their human rights, use of pellet guns and extra-judicial killings by the occupation forces. He reaffirmed that Pakistan remained in full solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, calling upon the world community to play its rightful role in promoting a just and lasting solution of the dispute.

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