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August 30, 2019

India trapped on international level with its actions in IHK: FO

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August 30, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office says India has trapped itself on the international level by taking illegal actions in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

Pakistan announced on Thursday that it reserves the right to close its airspace with India at a time of its choosing, but a final decision will be taken by the prime minister after consultations. Also awaited is a decision by the cabinet whether the government will move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against India on its latest constitutional changes regarding Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

“Closing our airspace to India is one of the many options that are being considered, we can exercise it at a time of our choosing. No decision has been taken as yet," said the Foreign Office spokesman at the weekly media briefing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s visit to the UN Human Rights Council is on the cards. Former foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua is also in Geneva as a special envoy of the prime minister for an extensive outreach and interaction with international community, including the OIC member states, especially focusing on the human rights violations being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces in IHK.

Responding to Indian prime minister Modi’s remarks that IHK was an internal matter of India, the spokesman said, “Indian hypocrisy is evident in its oscillating comments. On the one hand, it says that IHK is an internal matter of India, on the other it states that it would discuss it bilaterally with Pakistan. Previously, it used to say that Kashmir dispute is a multilateral

issue. There is no consistency or principle involved in the Indian position.”

In this regard, he pointed out Pakistan has always supported bilateral talks with India on all issues including IHK but it is India, which is not willing to resolve it through bilateral means. “As you know, prime minister of Pakistan and the foreign minister have repeatedly supported resolution of IHK through negotiations. Contrarily, the Indian side is claiming the disputed territory of IHK as its integral part and bringing about a material change in IHK, hence prime minister and foreign minister have stated that it is no longer possible for us to talk to India bilaterally,” he said.

Turning to 25 days of curfew and lockdown in IHK, the spokesman remarked, "These inhuman and unilateral actions by India are continuing without any respite despite international condemnation and censure.”

He added that due to severe blockade, the residents are facing acute shortage of essential commodities including baby food and life-saving medicines and the valley represents a humanitarian crisis. All internet and communication services and TV channels are closed in the IHK. Local newspapers could not update their online editions, while majority of them could not print due to restrictions. Responding to a query regarding moving the ICJ, the spokesman said, “ No final decision has been taken. Consultations are being held with all stakeholders as this is a very delicate issue.”

The spokesman said he did not agree that the response of the international community and the Muslim world was lukewarm on IHK.

“The issue of IHK has been discussed extensively in the UNSC after 50 years. Importantly, the issue continues to remain on the agenda of the UNSC. Moreover, the OIC secretary general has issued many statements and similar statements have been issued by Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of OIC,” he said. The emergency session of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir was also held in Jeddah and now a ministerial level meeting of the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir is also expected to take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. The foreign minister will lead the Pakistan’s delegation.

Meanwhile, despite a war-like scenario being built up between Pakistan and India, India has responded positively to Pakistan’s overtures to holding a technical meeting on Kartarpur corridor which will be held at Zero Point today (Friday). "India concurred to Pakistan's proposal and the technical meeting on Kartarpur Sahib corridor is being held on August 30 at Zero Point,” said the spokesman. "Pakistan remains committed to completing and inaugurating the Kartarpur Corridor as announced by our prime minister," he added.

To a question about Afghan peace process, the spokesman said Pakistan has been making sincere efforts to facilitate the process. He said the next round of talks between Afghan Taliban and the US has started. He said Pakistan will continue to work to help take peace efforts in Afghanistan to its logical conclusion. To another query, the spokesman categorically denied any policy move to recognise Israel. “Our policy on Israel is very clear and there is no change in it,” he said.