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Thursday May 19, 2022

No change in Pakistan’s stance on IIOJ&K: FO

February 27, 2021

ISLAMABAD: There is no change in Pakistan’s principled and long held position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which is an outstanding issue with India, and this is clearly stated, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a day after an agreement of ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) was agreed to by the DGMOs of India and Pakistan.

“Pakistan has always maintained that we want peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including the internationally recognized dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. There is no change in our principled position,” said the Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri during the weekly media briefing here on Friday.

The focus of the talks of DGMOs was de-escalation along the LoC as per the agreed mechanisms and understandings.

“Pakistan has consistently underscored the need to observe the 2003 ceasefire understanding in letter and spirit for maintenance of peace along the LoC. We have also maintained that escalation along the LoC is a threat to regional peace and security. Therefore, this development is very much in line with Pakistan’s consistent position”, said the spokesman.

He said it was in the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace both sides agreed to strictly observe all agreements, understandings and ceasefire along the LoC and other sectors.

Both sides agreed to the need to utilize the existing mechanisms of hotline contacts and border flag meetings.

“I would also like to share that there have been over 13,600 ceasefire violations by India since 2003. In the year 2020 alone, there were 3,097 ceasefire violations resulting in 28 shahdats and 257 injuries to the civilian population,” added the spokesman.

Regarding the Human Rights Watch report, he pointed out that Pakistan had been repeatedly saying that gross human rights violations in India and IIOJ&K were a matter of deep concern.

“The international community, including the UN human rights machinery, humanitarian organizations, the parliamentarians and the media has been consistently raising the issue of egregious human rights violations in IIOJ&K and in India. I have already talked in my opening statement about the resonance of human rights violations in IIOJ&K at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council,” Chaudhri stated.

Commenting on the Indo-Pak strife in Balakot on February 27, the spokesman said Pakistan remembered the day with pride, as its valiant armed forces responded to the Indian misadventure in a befitting manner.

“The armed forces of Pakistan, as is their tradition and hallmark, demonstrated full combat readiness and high degree of inter-service harmony. Pakistan’s response was firm, mature and responsible. Tomorrow, the nation will once again pay tribute to their national heroes for their exemplary courage and professionalism,” he added.

However to a query about allowing India to use land route through Pakistan to reach Afghanistan, it appears that Islamabad is still not ready for this while allowing Afghan goods to go into India.

“Regarding the Afghan Transit Trade, we believe that Afghan economy needs support and in that spirit we allow the export of Afghan goods to India under the Afghan Transit Trade,” said the spokesman.

After Thursday’s ceasefire agreement, there have been reports that one of the next steps in bilateral relations would be the holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad which in the past India had vetoed.

Asked whether SAARC came up during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Sri Lanka, the spokesman explained that for Pakistan, SAARC was an important platform for regional cooperation and for the betterment of the people.

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