Thursday February 09, 2023

Acquittal of UN-designated Pakistanis: Indian media trying to twist facts under vested agenda, says FO

November 13, 2021
Acquittal of UN-designated Pakistanis: Indian media trying to twist facts under vested agenda, says FO

ISLAMABAD: The recent acquittal of UN designated Pakistanis by the Lahore High Court were raised on Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the weekly media briefing, with the spokesman commenting that the Indian media reports were trying to twist the facts and that has already been clarified by the relevant law-enforcement agency in Pakistan through the media.

The query pertained to the recent decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC), which set aside a counterterrorism court’s conviction of six senior leaders of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its front organisation, Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove the charge of terror financing against the men.

Commenting on Indian media reports of the LHC decision, the spokesman said, “I think this is not the first time that the Indian media tried to sensationalise the legal proceedings of the UN designated persons and this is basically designed to serve a vested agenda”.

He explained that Pakistan’s criminal justice system is grounded on the principle of due process and rule of law. “It allows even the convicted individuals’ fundamental rights to exhaust all legal means that are available to them. The cases reported by Indian media have not reached finality.

“The UN designated persons related to this case continue to be interned after being convicted in multiple other cases,” he said. To another query, the spokesman spoke in great detail about Afghanistan’s frozen funds at a time when the country is on the “brink of an economic collapse”.

“I am sure you would have followed the entire series of diplomatic engagements that Pakistan has conducted over the last months, led by the prime minister, the foreign minister, and in various formats, six neighbouring countries’ meetings, initiated by Pakistan, Moscow format, bilateral and multilateral engagements, including the recent Troika Plus meeting; this is one of the fundamental questions that has been consistently raised by Pakistan,” he said.

In this regard, Pakistan has sensitised all incoming high-level delegations and all our interlocutors in the engagements abroad, including the very intensive outreach by the foreign minister.

“Pakistan has been able to rally members of the international community including the regional countries that this aspect needs to be addressed on priority. The issue has also been raised in the Troika Plus meeting, as was reflected in the joint statement. The international community seems to be increasingly conscious of this imminent challenge confronting Afghanistan. We continue with our efforts,” he added.

Even though Afghanistan has requested for recognition in all meetings in Pakistan and with the world capitals, the spokesman to a query said that there were still expectation from Kabul before such a step could be taken.

“There are expectations such as with regard to an inclusive setup, respect for human rights, and the issue of terrorism. So, while this issue of recognition is out there somewhere, in the larger picture and immediate context, the priority is on engagement to address the imminent issues,” he said.

He added that the question of recognition has been raised time and again, and Pakistan has made abundantly clear by numerous statements including at the leadership level that the situation in Afghanistan has direct implications for Pakistan.

“We are working with regional partners and others to encourage engagement with Afghanistan, to find best ways forward on so many issues that Afghanistan faces today, and this includes the humanitarian crisis, economic difficulties, and other concerns,” he said.