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October 18, 2019

Stopping water flow by India to be taken as act of aggression: FO

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October 18, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, in pursuit of its foreign policy objectives, is playing a pivotal role in promoting peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.

On Thursday, a warning was also sent to India that threats of stopping flow of water into Pakistan would be seen as an act of aggression and the government had the right to respond.

“We believe there is enormous potential to grow and, with progressive, pragmatic and liberal policies, we can infuse economic dynamism internally in Pakistan and across the region,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said while deliveringa lecture at the Air University, Islamabad.

He added that Pakistan faces a daunting environment and within this, its foreign policy priorities are defined, and effective solution crafted, to deal with the continuing challenges while taking benefit of emerging opportunities.

He warned of threats on Pakistan’s eastern border and said that India resorts to warmongering and issues nuclear threats for short-term domestic electoral gains.

“It has repeatedly signaled changes to its declaratory nuclear posture while flirting with pre-emptive and counterforce tendencies. This is in addition to its already existing aggressive military doctrines that envisage war fighting below the perceived nuclear threshold. It refuses to bilaterally engage in dialogue and rejects proposals aimed at risk reduction, confidence-building and nuclear and missile restraint”, pointed out the foreign minister.

He pointed to India’s hegemonic pretensions, coupled with a history of aggression against its neighbours, which present a clear and present danger to regional stability, and to Pakistan’s security. “India is also pursuing a massive build-up of its nuclear and conventional military forces and acquiring destabilising capabilities. These include nuclearisation of Indian Ocean and deployment of anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs); development and testing of debris-generating Anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapons; and a constant increase in the readiness, sophistication and diversification of all types of delivery systems and platforms”, he said.

The foreign minister while commenting on the 70-day lockdown of eight million Kashmiris, said that India was imposing unspeakable sufferings on the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

”The desperate attempt by India to portray a situation of normalcy in IOJ&K is in sharp contrast to reports of torture and detention by the international media. They are indicative of a reprehensible Indian design to spin an alternative reality to mislead the world. Similarly reprehensible is the fiction being advanced by Indian authorities regarding restoration of mobile phone service in IOJ&K”, he added.

Pakistan, he said, would continue to stand by Kashmiris in their just struggle for realisation of the right to self-determination. “We, and the Kashmiris, remain grateful to all those governments, international and regional human rights organisations, civil society members, and the international media who have raised their voice against India’s illegal and unilateral actions and supported the resolution of Kashmir dispute according to the UNSC resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people”, he said.

Commenting on bilateral relations with the US, the foreign minister said that Pakistan endeavors to cast this relationship on the principles of mutual respect, mutual interest and mutual benefit. “We have worked assiduously to minimise the divergences and we continue to accentuate the convergences. We hope that the US and Pakistan work constructively in advancing the shared goals of peace, stability and prosperity in our region”, he said.

Meanwhile, during the weekly media briefing at the Foreign Office, the spokesman in response to Indian threats that flow of water into Pakistan will be stopped, responded that this would be seen as an act of aggression as Pakistan maintains exclusive rights over three Western rivers.

"After imposing a crushing curfew and disconnecting the Kashmir Valley for more than two months now, some statements coming from Indian leadership are another glaring example of the fact that the present government of India is bent upon making India an irresponsible, aggressive state that has no regard for human rights or international obligations, “ he said.

Meanwhile, without attributing any reason the spokesman said that the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been postponed.

“Pakistan and Turkey have deep brotherly ties and both the countries maintain regular leadership level contacts. The scheduled visit of the Turkish president has been postponed for the time being and it will be rescheduled,” he said.