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December 13, 2019

Pakistan says US failed to list held Kashmir HR abusers

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December 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday pointed out the “failure” of US Treasury Department to notice extensive human rights abuses by Indian security forces in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJ&K) as it issued a list of 18 global abusers, including a Pakistani police official.

“Given the scope of Global Magnitsky Act, we are surprised that the Treasury Department failed to hold anyone responsible for the most egregious, extensively reported and independently verified human rights violations and abuses being perpetrated in IoJ&K by Indian security forces,” Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said when asked to respond over the sanctioning of former senior superintendent police (SSP) Rao Anwar.

The United States on Tuesday placed Anwar on a list of major global abusers of human rights, accusing him of being involved in 190 fake police encounters that resulted in over 400 deaths. The list, issued on International Human Rights Day, includes individuals in Myanmar, Pakistan, Libya, Slovakia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan for their roles in serious incidents of human rights abuse.

At a weekly press briefing, the spokesman said Anwar was already under trial for the crimes he had allegedly committed and the matter was sub judice.

Rejecting India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, Dr Faisal said the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in pursuance of its Hindutva ideology had cornered the country in a dead end. He termed the legislation a sheer violation of human rights, which he said had put the minorities in India at serious security risks. He said the crisis of IoJ&K was worsening day by day as entire valley entered 137th day of continuous siege with complete communication blackout.

On Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s boycott of his Indian counterpart during his speech at Heart of Asia Conference in Turkey, he said: “Pakistan will again boycott India in future as well, whenever required”.

The spokesman said 19th summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) would be held in Islamabad whenever agreed upon. “Only one country, India, has a problem with it and let’s see if it wants to move forward or not,” he said, adding all other regional states were willing to the holding of the summit.

Dr Faisal said Pakistan welcomed the resumption of direct negotiations between the United States and Taliban as it always espoused a political solution to the conflict, adding: “Pakistan’s argument has won the day”.

In response to a statement of US Senator Lindsay Graham urging the United States to negotiate with Pakistan instead of Taliban, he termed the Senator a “friend of Pakistan, who talked about deepening and broadening of relationship between the two countries”.

The spokesman confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon visit Bahrain, the details of which would be shared in due course of time. He also said convening of a meeting of High Level Strategic Council in Islamabad was under process, which would also be attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Dr Faisal condemned the assassination of Japanese professor and physician Tetsu Nakamura in Afghanistan, saying the towering figure contributed immensely for bringing change in the lives of Afghans.

“This is an act of spoilers who do not want to see peace in Afghanistan,” he said, paying tribute to the well-known aid worker killed last week in a shooting.

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