Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood received Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, Ambassador Khaled Khairi, today.

The Foreign Secretary briefed the Assistant Secretary-General on the recent incident of firing of a missile by India into Pakistan’s territory. He stressed that it was a serious violation of Pakistan’s airspace and reflective of India’s disregard for aviation safety as well as regional peace and stability. The Foreign Secretary emphasized that while Pakistan continued to act with restraint and responsibility, this incident was consistent with India’s irresponsible conduct and needed to be addressed by the international community. He recalled that the Foreign Minister of Pakistan had addressed a letter to the President of UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General, inter alia, calling for a joint probe into the incident to establish the facts.

The Foreign Secretary highlighted the grave violations of human rights and illegal demographic changes in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). He stressed the importance of a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

The Foreign Secretary and Assistant Secretary General exchanged views on matters concerning Afghanistan. They agreed on the urgent need for provision of adequate humanitarian and emergency assistance to the Afghan people; the revival of the Afghan economy and financial system; and the long-term reconstruction of Afghanistan with the active involvement of the United Nations. The Foreign Secretary appreciated the UN’s important contributions in this regard.

On the situation in Ukraine, the Foreign Secretary shared Pakistan’s perspective on the ongoing conflict, its adverse economic impact on developing countries, and Pakistan’s consistent calls for cessation of hostilities and a solution through dialogue and diplomacy.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and ASG Khairi discussed cooperation between Pakistan and the UN, especially in the area of peacekeeping. The ASG lauded Pakistan’s contributions to UN peacekeeping over the years as one of the largest troop contributors.

Assistant Secretary-General Khairi is in Pakistan as the representative of the UN Secretary-General at the 48thsession of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in Islamabad on 22-23 March 2022, coinciding with 75thanniversary celebrations of Pakistan’s Independence.

24 March 2022

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