Indian unwarranted arms procurement pose serious threat to regional peace, stability: FO

Pakistan again pushes India to overturn all illegal actions in IIOJK

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Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry has rejected the reports that Pakistan has been importing COVID-19 vaccine from India.

 

Responding to a question at his weekly news briefing in Islamabad this afternoon (Thursday), he said Pakistan has not entered into any bilateral procurement agreement for COVID-19 vaccine from India. He said the international vaccine alliance – Gavi has offered to provide vaccine dozes to several countries, including Pakistan under its COVAX Facility. He said procurement and supply mechanism of the vaccine dozes is undertaken by the Govi and not by the recipient countries.

Answering another question, the Spokesperson said India is trying to bring demographic changes to the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for which it has so far issued 3.28 million fake domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris for their permanent settlement in the IIOJK. He said all such measures are illegal, which need to be reversed. He said India is committing grave human rights violations in IIOJK. He said the international community and the world bodies, including the United Nations, are highlighting non-compliance India’s human rights obligations.

Replying to a question, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry said SAARC is an important regional forum and Pakistan is committed to its process and to hold SAARC summit. He said Pakistan believes that all artificial obstacles in the way of long overdue SAARC summit should be removed.

 

To a question, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said India is procuring arms beyond its security needs, which pose serious threat to regional peace and stability.

Regarding US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the Spokesperson said Pakistan has consistently supported the Afghan Peace Process. He said Pakistan’s positive contribution facilitated the US-Taliban Peace Agreement and the subsequent Intra-Afghan Negotiations. He said Islamabad has continued to emphasize that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and the only way forward is through a political process. The Spokesperson said it is important for Afghan parties to continue negotiations and pursue an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. He said all sides must work together for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. He said Pakistan welcomes the US efforts to re-energize the peace process and expedite the final political settlement.

Responding to a question regarding missing of a retired military officer Muhammad Habib Zahir of Pakistan from Nepal, the Spokeserson said the officer was abducted in 2017 from Lumbini, Nepal which is 5 kilometers from the Indian border. He said the Nepalese Government, on Pakistan’s request, had constituted a special team to look into the incident but there has been no progress in the matter so far.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry said there is strong evidence pointing towards the involvement of Indian hostile agencies in the abduction of Habib Zahir, including involvement of Indian nationals who reportedly received him at Lumbini, made his hotel reservations and booked his tickets. He further said that the website that Habib Zahir was contacted from was also operated from India.

Moreover, the Indian media reports and tweets from Indian personnel corroborate the evidence that he is in their custody. The Spokesperson said Pakistan has repeatedly called upon the Government of India to cooperate and assist in locating Habib Zahir, but unfortunately we have not received any positive response as yet. He said the abduction of Habib Zahir is a serious transnational crime which is in sharp contravention to the international law, especially human rights and humanitarian law. Moreover, it is also in grave violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access as well as 2008 bilateral agreement on consular access between Pakistan and India. The grave human rights violation of the abductee and his family due to illegal actions of the abductors in a third state, speak of the gravity of the matter.

The Spokesperson said the international community, especially the human rights organizations must take serious notice of the matter and raise their voice for the release of an innocent individual. He said Pakistan will continue to make all out efforts to locate and bring back Habib Zahir. Akram

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