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September 13, 2019

No secret talks with India: FO

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September 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said that no secret talks are being held with India and many countries have offered mediation on Kashmir dispute.

Islamabad came down heavily on Indian Prime Minister Modi’s remarks equating Islamabad with terrorism saying that in reality ‘state terrorism’ was there for all to see since over a month in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“These remarks are reflective of the Indian Government’s quintessential animus towards Pakistan and the smear campaign that India has waged for decades”, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

It added that no amount of India’s anti-Pakistan rhetoric could hide its state-terrorism in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. “Nor could any such remarks divert the internationalcommunity’s attention from India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August, 2019 which, among other things, have turned IOJ&K into the largest prison of the world. The unconscionable lockdown has entered its 40th day (as it began on 4th August, 2019)”, it stated.

Rather than resorting to its familiar canard against Pakistan, India should pay heed to the international censure and reverse its draconian measures which are resulting in unspeakable sufferings for the Kashmiri people.

Days after the visit of the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministers visit to Pakistan when media reports spoke of both countries saying that Kashmir was not an issue of the Muslim Umman, spokesman at the Foreign Office dismissed this impression.

“The media accounts are speculative. The legality and international legitimacy of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is derived from the UNSC resolutions. This is a well-known fact. During the visit, the two Ministers reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s and UAE’s solidarity with Pakistan and support for the Jammu & Kashmir cause”, he pointed out.

He pointed to the recent joint statement at the UN in Geneva and said that he countries included mostly members of OIC and other friendly nations. “The joint statement represents the growing international disapproval of Indian illegal and unilateral actions. It also signifies increasing global demand for lifting of lockdown of the Kashmiri population and restrictions on communications and fundamental rights”, he said.

To a query the spokesman said that there is no backdoor diplomacy with India. “I can state that many countries have offered mediation between Pakistan and India. However, we cannot move forward unless India agrees to accept these offers”, he added.

He reminded the media that struggle for Jammu & Kashmir is a process which spans over 7-decades is not an event. “It is a continuing struggle which Pakistan and the Kashmiris have been undertaking with utmost conviction. This process is moving forward, the Prime Minister of Pakistan is visiting Azad Jammu & Kashmir tomorrow and will be addressing a public gathering there”, he said.

The spokesman did not give a direct reply to whether the US had taken it into confidence over its latest decision to wrap up talks with the Taliban. “Pakistan wants all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from violence. We have encouraged and facilitated the Afghan peace process in good faith and as a shared responsibility. We shall continue to monitor the situation and urge all parties to return to the negotiation table to take the progress achieved in the talks, so far, to its logical conclusion”, he said.

Further he said Pakistan has always maintained that the only solution to the Afghan conflict lies in a politically negotiated settlement led and owned by the Afghans themselves. “A military focused approach has failed to render the desired results. We remain hopeful that the peace talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban would be resumed at the earliest and process will lead to intra-Afghan negotiations which are imperative for finding durable and sustainable peace in Afghanistan. We hope that the momentum, so generated, will be maintained by the international stakeholders for a peaceful outcome in Afghanistan”, he added.

To another query, the spokesman said that statements of recognizing Israel are part of baseless propaganda. “There is no change in our policy. Our policy of non-recognition of Israel remains unchanged”, he asserted.

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