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In connection with ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’, commemorated on February 5, and the important developments taking place in the region, the Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, briefed the Ambassadors of the P-5 countries and the EU, based in Islamabad, today. Referring to the indigenous struggle of the Kashmiris, the Foreign Secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s unflinching political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people. He emphasized that resolution of the Kashmir dispute was pivotal for ensuring peace, security and stability in the region.

Paying tribute to the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination, the Foreign Secretary stressed that the resolution of this long-standing dispute must be ensured in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. He stated that the elections in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) could not be a substitute of the UN monitored plebiscite. He also expressed concern over the Indian attempts to alter the ground situation through demographic changes. The Foreign Secretary underscored the crucial role of the international community in helping to bring about a sustainable and lasting solution to this issue. He drew attention to the continuous human rights violations by the Indian forces in IOK and the plight of the Kashmiris, of which human rights organizations and the international community are well aware. The Foreign Secretary expressed the hope that the international community would continue to remain engaged on this vital issue.

The Foreign Secretary also stated that while remaining firm on its just stance, Pakistan is committed to a meaningful and constructive dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Expressing optimism on the deepening of cooperative ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary briefed the Ambassadors on the recent positive developments in the bilateral relations with Afghanistan.

The Foreign Secretary also briefed the Ambassadors on the recent interaction with the US Secretary of State, who visited Pakistan for the 2nd Ministerial Review of Strategic Dialogue. He noted that the dialogue had contributed to deepening of Pakistan-US cooperation in a broad range of areas on which five working groups have been interacting for the past one year.

On the US President’s visit to India, the Foreign Secretary drew attention to the statement of the Adviser of 27 January 2015, which expressed Pakistan’s concern on those aspects of the visit which had regional and global implications, including strategic imbalance in South Asia.

January 29, 2015

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