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April 18, 2020

Pakistan rejects Indian Army chief’s allegations

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April 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Friday strongly rejected Indian Army Chief MM Naravane’s allegations against Pakistan terming them “totally false, irresponsible and spurious”. The allegations have been levelled at a time when not only the region, but also the whole world has been gripped by the coronavirus.

“We strongly reject the irresponsible, spurious and totally false allegations against Pakistan made by the Indian Army chief this morning. These baseless allegations are patently designed to divert global and domestic attention from India’s state-terrorism and egregious human rights violations and clamping of fundamental freedoms in IOJ&K, particularly post-August 5, 2019,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui during the weekly media briefing here. General MM Naravane on a two-day visit to the IOJK had alleged that while India was busy "not only helping our own citizens but the rest of the world by sending medical teams and exporting medicines" during the coronavirus crisis, Pakistan was only "exporting terror".

“It is very unfortunate that at a time when the whole world and India is fighting the menace of this pandemic, our neighbour continues to foment trouble for us,” Naravane was quoted by the Indian media.

"This year alone, Indian occupation forces in occupied Kashmir have committed over 765 ceasefire violations, resulting in shahadat (martyrdom) of 3 civilians as well as serious injuries to 54 innocent civilians," Farooqui said, adding, "In 2019, India violated the ceasefire agreement 3,351 times. Pakistan continues to respond to Indian belligerence in a firm and responsible manner."

Farooqui said Pakistan had no desire to escalate the situation and reacted with maximum restraint. “We have continuously urged the international community to take notice of Indian provocations.”

“Pakistan Army has shot down an Indian quadcopter which crossed the LoC. Such anti-Pakistan activities of the Indian armed forces are irresponsible. Pakistan will continue to respond to such violations in a befitting manner,” she said.

“In the interest of regional peace and security, India is once again reminded to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and maintain peace along the LoC. It must also allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions," pointed out the spokesperson.

Commenting on the decision of President Donald Trump to cut off funding to WHO, the spokesperson commented that Pakistan urges the international community, world leaders, the UN, WHO and other stakeholders to come together to combat the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to the world. It has infected more than 2 million people around the world with loss of thousands of precious lives”, she said. “The virus knows no borders. The international community will have to work together in a coordinated manner to defeat the Coronavirus”, said the spokesperson. Commenting on the US State Department approving military sale of 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II Air Launched Missiles, to India, the spokesperson said that this was ‘disturbing’. “The sale of such missile systems, along with technical assistance and logistic support at the time when there is a global effort to fight the pandemic is particularly disturbing. Pakistan has articulated its concerns regarding the sale of sophisticated weapons to India which would further destabilize the region,” said the spokesperson. “This will destabilize the already volatile situation in South Asia. There is a high possibility of India conducting a false flag operation while global efforts are directed towards combating the pandemic,” she warned.

“As part of Foreign Office’s ‘Vision FO’, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi launched a new App “FM Direct” digitally, today. The event was attended by over 60 Heads of Missions of Pakistan online across different geographical and time zones.

The ‘FM Direct APP’ is a new and evolved way of thinking, encapsulating the spirit of meritocracy and transparency within the Foreign Office through digital communication. Foreign Minister Qureshi said the purpose of FM Direct is to involve all officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both at the Headquarters and Missions aboard in an interactive dialogue for the exchange of ideas.