(2017-07-20) [This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.]
Bismillah IrRehman NirRahim Assalaam Alaikum
We strongly condemn the continuous unprovoked violation of the LoC by India. Yesterday, as a result of this unprovoked action, one of our brave soldier embraced Shahdat and 02 were critically injured. Two innocent civilians have also been martyred and 5 were injured due to cowardly act of Indian forces. We condemn continued violation of LoC and deliberate targeting of civilians by Indian forces. Our Armed Forces responded effectively. Indian soldiers suffered 05 casualties and injuries. In order to cover the continued heinous crimes that Indian forces are committing against innocent civilian Kashmiris in IoK with impunity, India has been heightening tension at LoC and Working Boundary to divert international attention. Indian irresponsible actions pose a direct threat to the security of the region and beyond.
During last 6 days, Indian occupation forces in their actions to violently suppress the Kashmiri people have martyred nine (9) Kashmiris [Mohammad Abdullah Ganai (60 yrs), Mukhtar Ahmad Lone, Parvaiz Ahmad Mir, Showkat Ahmad Lohar, (23), Mudasir Hajam, (18) and Rayees Ahmad Bhat in Tral, Islamabad and Bandipore areas. Others’ IDs unknown].
At least 138 defenseless Kashmiris were injured after Indian forces fired bullets, pellets and PAVA shells in Srinagar, Pulwama, Tral, Shopian, Kulgam, Bijbehara, Islamabad, Hajin, Sopore, Budgam and Bandipore areas. Indian forces arrested over 54 activists and students in illegal house raids, mostly at night. Night raids, which are contrary to any human rights standards, have become the norm in IoK. The objective is to terrify the civilian population, including children, women, the elderly and the youth by entering their houses and meting out inhuman treatment to them.
Continued illegal detention of Hurriyet leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, and Zafar Akbar Bhat, prolonged illegal detention of Massarat Alam Bhat, Aasiya Andrabi and Fehmeeda Sofi and students under black Law Public Safety Act and constant denial to offer Friday prayers is highly condemnable. While we appreciate Media’s effective role in highlighting the plight of Kashmiris in IoK, more needs to be done to sensitize the International Community and ensure accountability of Indian forces against the impunity with which they perpetrate atrocities in IoK.
Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Tehmina briefed the EU Ambassadors on the atrocities perpetrated by Indian forces in IoK and violation of LoC by India (over 580 times during 2017, which martyred more than 60 civilians and injured scores.
19th July marked the Day of Accession to Pakistan, as resolved by Kashmiris in a Resolution in 1947, but they were deceived due to connivance between Lord Mountbatten, Radcliff and Indian Hindu Congress Leaders. To commemorate Youm-i-Ilhaq to Pakistan, Representatives of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Leaders (APHC), called on the Foreign Affairs Adviser, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, yesterday. Please see our Press Release for details.
Now the Floor is open for Questions
Reportedly, Indian occupation forces across LoC have targeted Pakistan army vehicle resulting in martyrdom of four Pakistani soldiers. Normally, Indian High Commissioner is summoned each time India carries out unprovoked ceasefire violations on LoC. This time, our DGMO has conveyed his concern to his Indian counterpart, but have we taken up the matter diplomatically also? (Essa Naqvi – Dunya News)
Indian ceasefire violations and escalation at the LoC and the WB are attempts to divert attention of the international community from the Indian atrocities in IoK. Indian ceasefire violations have resulted in the shahadats of 21 civilians and injuries to about 30 in 2017. Indian ceasefire violations have increased this year from 382 in 2016 to 580 in 2017, so far. The Indian ceasefire violations and the resultant escalation at the LoC and Working Boundary is a threat to regional peace and security.
The UNMOGIP has the mandate to monitor the ceasefire violations at the LoC and Working Boundary, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. Pakistan has always extended full cooperation to the UNMOGIP. On the contrary, India gives extremely limited access to UNMOGIP in IoK. In order to ensure peace and tranquility at the LoC, the mandate of UNMOGIP is crucial. We have repeatedly urged the Indian side to permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per the UNSC resolutions. India should respect the norms of inter-state conduct and realize that consultation not confrontation and peaceful coexistence is the only way forward in the civilized global world of today.
Where world’s most powerful armies could not achieve success in 16 years with 180,000 combat troops, how do you foresee a small increase of troops to the existing 8800 strength changing the situation in Afghanistan? (Saima Shabbir – Bol News)
Reportedly, US House of Representatives has approved defence policy bill that imposes restrictions on US assistance to Pakistan. US has been constantly persuading Pakistan to take stern action against Haqqani Network and Taliban, and do more in this regard. Is it possible for Pakistan to ask US in return to do more with reference to Indian terror financing and subversive activities from Afghan soil? (Saad Umar – Roze News)
US State Department has recently published country-specific report on terrorism, in which Pakistan has been blamed to have safe havens for terrorists, and not taking enough action against the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad. What is your comment on this report? (Tariq Sial – Such TV & Khawaja Nayaar Iqbal – Kashmir Post)
As to Ms. Saima Shabbir’s question, Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan therefore our focus should be on a politically negotiated settlement under an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. We have constructively participated in all initiatives and forums for promoting peace, stability and reconciliation in Afghanistan and will continue to do that. It is our understanding that the personnel of Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan would be involved in the capacity building of Afghan forces.
Regarding the questions on US State Department’s report, I have responded a number of times about Pakistan’s efforts and successes in eradicating the menace of terrorism from our country. We are fully resolved to fight terrorism and have taken strong measures to this effect. Our efforts have been met with success, and acknowledged by a number of countries including the United States. Various delegations, who came to Pakistan from US and other countries, have visited the affected areas, which we successfully cleansed from terrorism. They have given statements in the media and wrote articles, and it would be a repetition to go into those details. To name a few, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have highly appreciated Pakistan’s success in countering terrorism.
We have taken indiscriminate and all out action against terrorists. They are on the run. Most of them have fled to Afghanistan, the country which is in turmoil for the last forty years, and due to which there are large ungoverned spaces being taken up by the terrorists. As is evident from the statistics and media reports available, a considerable number of leaders and senior commanders of the Haqqani network and other terrorists have been killed inside Afghanistan. In my briefing on 06 July 2017 I had comprehensively addressed a similar query with statistics, which clearly indicated where this network is based.
Regarding the question by Mr. Saad Umar, the bill that you referred to is still under legislative process and it would be premature to comment before the final document is out.
Reportedly, US Defence Secretary James Mattis indicated that the anticipated US policy on Afghanistan could change the nature of US military engagement in Afghanistan, which also includes Pakistan as a key regional player. In the backdrop recent passing of defence bill that proposed restrictions on Pakistan, what are the prospects of cooperation?
Secondly, LoC violations between Pakistan and India have no become very common. The interaction between DGMOs of both countries is also not very encouraging. In your view, are the two countries heading towards a localized conflict with the potential to spiral out into a major war? What perspective was conveyed to EU Ambassadors yesterday by our Foreign Secretary? (Shaukat Paracha – Aaj TV)
The Trump administration’s policy review on Afghanistan is still not complete. We will only be able to comment once the contents of review are shared with us. The Bill you have referred to is still under legislative process as I have mentioned earlier, therefore, it would be premature to comment on it. However, Pakistan-US cooperation in diverse areas are longstanding. As far as our role in the context of peace in Afghanistan is concerned, Pakistan’s position is very clear. Pakistan wants to see peace and stability in Afghanistan, which we firmly believe is in Pakistan’s interest. We have always whole-heartedly supported all efforts to that end. We fully subscribe to an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process. Pakistan continues to host millions of Afghan refugees for over 3 decades as a sentiment of fraternity. We have also completed numerous projects in health, education and infrastructure development sectors with our financial grant of US$ 500 million. Under Prime Minister’s Scheme, 3000 Scholarships have been fully availed by Afghan students, while 3000 more have been announced by our Government recently. Around 48,000 Afghans have been educated in Pakistan who are now working in Afghanistan. Around 1 million children of the Afghan Refugees are studying in our schools. During the last meeting at Brussels on reconstruction of Afghanistan, Pakistan has pledged an additional US$ 500 million. We will be closely cooperating with the Afghan government in identifying the priority projects in this regard. The reason why I am giving details is to highlight the effective role Pakistan is and has been playing in Afghanistan. Pakistan attaches high importance to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and is working with other countries to achieve the same goal.
On your second question, I have just given you the figures of how many times India has indulged in unprovoked ceasefire violations at the LoC. Why is India doing that? India wants to divert attention of the international community from the atrocities and grave human rights violations that its forces are perpetrating in IoK. It also uses the situation on LoC to mislead the world about the so called infiltration from LoC to IoK. This lie of India’s stood exposed in 2009, and I will repeat at the cost of your time, as to how International People’s Tribunal, an NGO in IoK, discovered thousands of mass graves in IoK. The NGO in its findings, which are available on our website, reported that Indian occupation forces brutally murdered local Kashmiris in fake encounters and then buried them mercilessly. The 2009 report, based on DNA tests and identification of multiple corpses in each of those mass graves, established that those killed as infiltrators were actually local Kashmiris. Indian forces had killed them in fake encounters. Indian attempts to equate the indigenous movement of self-determination with terrorism has been rejected by the international community, who understand that no external elements can run a movement on such a massive scale. Indian actions are irresponsible and endangering regional peace and stability.
India has rejected China’s offer of playing a constructive role in resolving the Kashmir dispute. India has constantly rejected all offers for lessening of tension and mediation while Pakistan always welcomes. Why? Does India think it can go its own way, as if it is not part of the international community? Your comments! (Amjad Ali – PTV)
Jammu & Kashmir is a core dispute between Pakistan and India and threatens the peace and stability of South Asia. The status of the State of Jammu & Kashmir is internationally recognized to be disputed through numerous resolutions of the UN Security Council. Pakistan has always urged India and the international community to implement the UN Security Council resolutions and hold a free and fair plebiscite under UN auspices, which has been delayed for 7 decades due to Indian unwillingness to create a conducive atmosphere to enable implementation of the relevant UNSC Resolutions, which call for exercise of right of self-determination of Kashmiris under a UN supervised plebiscite.
Pakistan believes in peace and resolving all outstanding issues with India through negotiations. International Community recognizes that for regional peace and security resolution of Jammu & Kashmir dispute is an imperative. Continued heightening of tension due to Indian immature and irresponsible behavior has caused deep concerns among world leaders and multilateral forums such as the UN and OIC, hence a reason behind their offer for mediation. We welcome international community’s offers to resolve the Jammu & Kashmir dispute including that of China.
What is Pakistans stance with regard to killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces in Al-Aqsa mosque, and preventing them from saying their prayers in the mosque? (Raheel Hasan – Almanar TV)
Pakistan has a clear policy on Israel-Palestine issue. Pakistan supports a just, comprehensive and lasting solution of the issue based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including agreed principles. We support the establishment of an independent, sovereign, viable and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
Reportedly, Hindutva ideologues will dominate every official circle with the election of Ram Nath as President of India. How will the growing grip of Hindutva impact the lives of non-Hindus who are already suffering in India? (Tariq Mahmood – SAMAA TV)
Rising extremism, religious intolerance and bigotry in India is a cause of international concern. The sense of insecurity in minorities is increasing. The sharply increasing number of brutal deaths by cow vigilantes is a reflection of the escalating intolerance in India which made headlines in the international media.
The maltreatment of minorities is cause for international concern. International human rights organizations including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have increasingly criticized the treatment of minorities and violation of their rights in India which face an increased sense of discrimination and marginalization. Unfortunately the Indian treatment of minorities continues to move from bad to worse indicating rising extremism and intolerance in Indian society.
Was anything new discussed during the Higher Border Commission meeting in Iran recently? What about regular incidents of firing from Iranian side? What measures are we taking to stop cross-border incidents on Pak-Iran border? (Kauser Lodhi – Prime News)
As to your second question, along the Iran-Pakistan border, miscreants, including human and narcotics smugglers, continue to create problems for both the countries. The border is not completely manned on all sectors. A high level Pakistani delegation participated in the Higher Border Commission meeting at Tehran, where they held deliberations on border management related issues. We will share the outcome in due course.
Regarding your first question about details of Higher Border Commission meeting, the delegation arrived late last night so I don’t have details to offer right now. However, such forums afford opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern.
Regarding Chinese warning to India’s stand-off in Sikkim, two developments have come to fore. One, that China has openly warned India against any aggressive action. Second, former Indian Defence Minister Mulayam Singh has alleged that China and Pakistan are collaborating to attack India since long. In this backdrop, I want to ask whether there is any understanding between Pakistan and China about landing of Chinese troops in IoK? (Syed Mohsin Raza – Asas Group of Publications)
I am not privy to any such information.
Recently, Chief of Joint Services Committee has reiterated that Indian intelligence Agency RAW is using Afghan soil to destabilize Pakistan and sabotaging CPEC. There are many other clear indications of Indian activities in Afghanistan against Pakistan. Has Pakistan filed a case, or plans to do so, against Indian with the UN or other relevant international organizations? (Khawaja Nayyar Iqbal – Kashmir Post)
India has been using Afghan soil against Pakistan. Former US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel’s statement in 2011 that ‘India finances trouble in Pakistan’, confessions of Commander Kulbhushan Yadav, an agent of Indian Intelligence agency, RAW, and voluntary statement made by Ehsanullah Ehsan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar’s Spokesman, are sufficient evidence to prove that India is involved in terrorism, terror-financing and subversive activities in Pakistan. A number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, claimed by JuA, have given indicators of Indian involvement. Ehsanullah Ehsan’s statement at a later stage is a testimony in this regard. I wish to remind you of the statements made by Indian Ministers, Ajit Doval and Manohar Parrikar, who clearly indicated that they would use terrorists against Pakistan by financing them.
Regarding CPEC, you may recall that a charge sheet of Indian High Commission in Islamabad’s diplomats and staff, belonging to Indian intelligence agencies, was presented in November last year, which clearly indicated how they were involved in activities detrimental to Pakistan’s national security and CPEC project. Not only that, Commander Kulbushan Jhadev’s confessional statements, which are in public domain, also confirmed India’s active involvement in sabotaging CPEC. Indian Ministers and politicians have also been openly opposing CPEC. I have seen reports, wherein it was mentioned that a fully-funded special cell has been established within RAW, the Indian intelligence agency, to specifically sabotage CPEC.
India is making continuous efforts to equate freedom fighters in IoK, fighting for their just right to self-determination, with terrorists. Now the US is harping a tone similar to India. Your comments please. (Tahir Rathore – 24 News)
The International Community has rejected Indian propaganda of equating indigenous self-determination movement of Kashmiris with terrorism. Last year, OIC Summit in Istanbul categorically rejected, in its outcome document, this Indian malicious attempt. This month again at the OIC CFM in Abidjan, the Members of OIC rejected the Indian attempts. I have already explained in response to an earlier asked question why India is trying to portray Kashmiri indigenous movement for self-determination as terrorism and that International Community has rejected the Indian propaganda. International Community understands that no external force can sustain or support such a mass-level movement that Kashmiris in all age groups are carrying out in IoK.
There is positive development on the medical visa issue. There is heightened tension at the LoC due to ceasefire violations; Kashmir is burning every day. Is our Foreign Policy that of war or peace? (Salman Hashmi – Forensic Eye)
Pakistan’s Foreign Policy is very clear in its objectives. We have a policy of peaceful neighborhood as envisioned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and pursued by the Government. On medical visas issue, I have already responded in my earlier briefing.
Last modified: November 22, 2019
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