FO terms P-5 statement ‘a positive development’ for strategic stability

Pak calls on int’l community to take notice of the Indian state-terrorism in IIOJK

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Islamabad: Foreign Minister’s visit to Romania and Spain that has served to reinforce our longstanding friendship and cooperation with the two countries.

In Bucharest, the Foreign Minister called on the Romanian Prime Minister, held meetings with the Romanian Foreign Minister, Minister for Economy and other dignitaries. Two MoUs were signed – relating to Award of scholarships to Pakistani students; and Cooperation between the (FPCCI) and the Romanian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI). The Foreign Minister interacted with the Pakistani community, and also inaugurated ‘Pakistan Cultural & Trade Exhibition Center’ at the Pakistan Embassy.

On the next leg in Madrid, the Foreign Minister held meetings with his Spanish counterpart, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, members of the Foreign Relations Committee of Congress of Deputies and called on the President of Congress of Deputies of Spain. He also interacted with members of Academia, and the Pakistani community.

While in Madrid, Foreign Minister Qureshi also met the Secretary-General of UN World Tourism Organization to exchange views on benefiting from WTO’s expertise for the development and digital transformation of Pakistan’s tourism sector.

On 3 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the Pak-China Business Investment Forum, which is aimed at increasing investment in Pakistan and promoting business-to-business industrial cooperation. The forum would endeavour to promote sustainable investment, export industry and the development of modern technology in Pakistan.

On 5 January, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), HE Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf, visited Pakistan at the invitation of the Foreign Minister. Besides delegation-level talks with the Foreign Minister, the Secretary-General met with the Minister for Finance and Revenue, and Prime Minister’s Advisor for Commerce and Investment. The visit provided an opportunity to review Pak-GCC relations and foster enhanced collaboration in diverse fields, with a renewed focus on trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and the GCC Member States.

A strong business delegation led by the Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industries visited Pakistan. The delegation called on the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and other dignitaries. The visit imparted further impetus to the bilateral economic relationships.

Foreign Minister Qureshi inaugurated an International Seminar on the theme of “Combating Corruption – A Prerequisite for the full enjoyment of all Human Rights and Sustainable Development”, organized by the Government of Pakistan and the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in collaboration with the UN, in Islamabad on 6-7 January 2022.

The International Seminar was attended by more than 200 international and national stakeholders.  Based on its deliberations, the ‘Islamabad Declaration on Combating Corruption for the full realization of all Human Rights and Sustainable Development was adopted. The Seminar was part of Pakistan’s persistent efforts to strengthen the international framework against corruption, recovery of stolen assets, promotion and protection of all human rights, and achievement of inclusive and sustainable development.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood met with a delegation from European countries that were on a study visit to Pakistan, organized by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), to assess the opportunities for support and cooperation in the realm of migration management.

A 25-member delegation of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 10 January. The delegation was briefed on key aspects of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy including our commitment to forging deeper cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, briefed the Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Islamabad on 10 January on the “Declaration on Establishing a Global Social Protection Knowledge Platform.” The Declaration is being steered by Pakistan in New York, in collaboration with a “Group of Friends on Social Protection”.

The Foreign Secretary also had a virtual meeting with Pakistan’s Ambassadors and Consuls General, and Heads of Camp Offices in provincial capitals to review matters pertaining to the Prime Minister’s Performance Delivery Unit (PMDU), with a view to further enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery and resolution of complaints.

On 5th January, the Kashmiris’ Right to Self-determination Day was observed. On this day in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India & Pakistan (UNCIP) in its resolution guaranteed the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.

In their messages marking the Day, the President, the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister, highlighted the grave human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and urged the international community to ensure accountability for these crimes against humanity, and to play their role in resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UNSC resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people. Pakistan reaffirmed its steadfast support for the Kashmiris till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.

It is reprehensible that Indian occupation forces are continuing with the killing spree in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Since the start of this year, at least 15 Kashmiris have fallen victim to extra-judicial killings in fake encounters and so-called cordon-and-search operations. At least 210 Kashmiris were martyred in 2021. India is also shamelessly targeting journalists and human rights defenders.

We are also concerned and we are continuing to alert the international community about India’s track record.  There is a real possibility that India might stage another False Flag Operation to complicate the current situation. So we continue to alert our friends in the international community about this prospect.

Pakistan calls on the international community to take immediate notice of the Indian state-terrorism in IIOJK and hold India accountable for the egregious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in IIOJK. India must allow unhindered access to international human rights and humanitarian organizations and UN Special Mandate Holders to conduct independent investigations in the IIOJK.

The despicable harassment and insult of Muslim women in India through purpose-built online applications has been rightly and widely condemned. This obnoxious and repugnant act is the newest low in the violent streak of hate attacks and targeting of minorities with impunity overseen by the BJP-RSS extremist dispensation under which space for minorities is continuously shrinking in India. The deafening silence of the BJP leadership and absence of discernible action against ‘Hindutva’ proponents openly calling for the genocide of Muslims should send alarm bells across the international community, and as the Prime Minister said, it is high time they take note and act to stop this dangerous slide and ensure the safety, security and well being of minorities in India.

We continue to follow closely the situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan welcomes the launch by the UN – what has been termed the largest single country aid appeal ever – for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.  This comes on the heels of the OIC Extra-ordinary Ministerial Session in Islamabad last month focusing on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. It goes without saying that urgent action is required to stave off a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan.

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