On Thursday, the spokesperson of the Foreign Office, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri did a detailed press conference in which he briefed about the international developments with regards to Pakistan. He shed light on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s virtual addresses. This was followed by Indian atrocities being done in Kashmir and human right violations in India as well.
PM Imran Khan’s virtual address at UNCTAD
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s virtually participated in the 4th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE), on Financing for Development (FfD). During his address, the Prime Minister underlined the structural barriers hampering global prosperity and development. PM Imran proposed a five-point agenda to counter these barriers.
First, a viable framework for an equitable and affordable supply of COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries. Second, suspending debt re-payments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic, restructuring of their public-sector debt and expanding concessional financing through multilateral development banks.
Third, a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of 500 billion dollars to help alleviate balance-of-payment pressures. Fourth, return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals and fifth, meeting the agreed target of mobilizing 100 billion dollars annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries.
FM Qureshi addresses High-Level Replenishment Conference
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed the High-Level Replenishment Conference for the UN Secretary General’s Peace Building Fund (PBF).
The Foreign Minister urged the United Nations (UN) to address the root causes of conflicts including injustice, inequality and suppression of the right to self-determination of the peoples under foreign occupation, in order to build and sustain global peace.
Underscoring Pakistan’s longstanding commitment to the UN’s endeavors for peacekeeping and peace-building, the Foreign Minister recalled that over the last 60 years Pakistani troops and police had represented the UN in 46 peacekeeping missions across 4 continents of the world.
The FM also announced a financial pledge as part of Pakistan’s contribution to the Peace Building Fund (PBF).
17th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting
The Foreign Minister represented Pakistan at the 17th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting held virtually.
Highlighting the devastating repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Foreign Minister underscored the need to coordinate actions; benefit from each other’s experiences; and pool resources for responding to the pandemic. FM Qureshi also emphasized the need for the COVID-19 vaccine to become easily and equitably accessible to all.
FM Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with Chinese counterpart
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan held a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The State Councilor Yi conveyed China’s offer of five hundred thousand doses of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan by the end of this month.This gesture by Beijing reaffirms the strength of the ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ between Pakistan and China.
Discussing the progress of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both the Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their resolve to make CPEC a high-quality demonstration project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The two Foreign Ministers agreed to enhance communication and coordination to further solidify Pakistan-China ties.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also talked to his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on telephone. During the call, matters of mutual interest, including trade and economic activity in the border regions, the establishment of Border Sustenance Markets and the Afghan Peace Process were also discussed.
The Foreign Minister also expressed concern on the violence in Afghanistan and emphasized that progress in the Intra Afghan Negotiations would also help reduce violence, leading to a ceasefire with Taliban.
Assistant Foreign Minister on Asian Affairs of the State of Kuwait, Ambassador Ali Suleman Al-Saeed, called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Reaffirming Pakistan’s desire to forge stronger bilateral relations with Kuwait, the Foreign Minister stressed the importance of deepening and diversifying bilateral cooperation. The Foreign Minister particularly appreciated the role played by the Kuwaiti leadership towards resolution of differences among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The Assistant Foreign Minister reciprocated FM Qureshi’s views on further fortifying the bilateral relations.
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood held the 5th Round of Pakistan-Italy Bilateral Political Consultations with Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni. The entire spectrum of bilateral relations including fight against the COVID-19 pandemic came under discussion, Furthermore, political, trade and economic relations; energy; defence; migration and people-to-people exchanges were reviewed during the consultations.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution, titled “Promoting a Culture of Peace and Tolerance to Safeguard Religious Sites”. The resolution was co-sponsored by Pakistan along with a number of OIC and other countries.
Consistent with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, this resolution is a part of Pakistan’s continuing diplomatic efforts for the protection of religious sites, promotion of interfaith harmony, and combating intolerance on the basis of religion or belief.
The international scrutiny of India’s global disinformation campaign against Pakistan continues, following the release of
EU Disinfo lab report
The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation, held a hearing on disinformation activities. The hearing by the EU Parliament is an acknowledgement that the international community is taking the massive disinformation campaign and misuse of prestigious platforms by India against Pakistan seriously. For far too long, India has masqueraded itself as a victim of terrorism and it is time that the world saw the reality of India as a state sponsor of terrorism and a purveyor of anti-Pakistan propaganda globally.
Black Day observed by Kashmiris
Coming to the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the Kashmiris in IIOJK and all over the world observed the Republic Day of India on 26 January as Black Day. By observing the Republic Day of India as Black Day, the Kashmiris, once again, made their aspirations clear. They sent an unambiguous message to the world community that Kashmiris have not and will never accept India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The indigenous movement of the Kashmiri people for their inalienable right to self-determination, as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, will only become stronger in the face of state-terrorism by the RSS-BJP regime. Pakistan is also deeply concerned over the continued incarceration and deteriorating health conditions of Kashmiri leaders, including Asiya Andrabi, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Yasin Malik, Masarat Alam Bhat; Mohammad Ashraf Sehraie and others.
The Indian Government through invoking draconian laws promulgated in IIOJK has illegally arrested these Kashmiri leaders over malicious, false and fabricated charges. Imprisonment and torturing of Kashmiri leaders on the basis of their political ideology and struggle against illegal Indian occupation is a true reflection of the extremist mindset of the RSS-BJP regime which has no respect for the human rights of the Kashmiri people.
Pakistan calls upon the international community, particularly the United Nations, ICRC and human rights and humanitarian organizations, to take notice of the Indian government’s inhuman treatment of the Kashmiri leaders and raise its voice for their immediate release from illegal Indian detention. Independent voices continue to call out India on its systemic violation of human rights in IIOJK and minority rights inside the country.
The Human Rights Watch in its World Report 2021 has highlighted that the BJP-led government has increasingly harassed, arrested, and prosecuted rights defenders, activists, journalists, students, academics and others critical of the government or its policies.
The report has further stated that “hundreds of people remained detained without charge in Jammu and Kashmir under the draconian Public Safety Act”.
The South Asia Collective in its annual report titled, ‘South Asia – State of Minorities Report 2020’, has underscored that “India has become a dangerous and violent space for Muslim minorities,” ever since the ruling Hindu nationalist party BJP came to power.
The report underlined that hate crimes against minorities have seen a spike – taking the form of mob lynching and vigilante violence against Muslims, Christians, and Dalits. The report particularly highlighted the human rights violations in IIOJK since India’s unilateral and illegal actions of August 5, 2019.
Pakistan rejects the launch of Ayodha mosque
Pakistan has rejected the launch of Ayodhya mosque project in India, replacing historic Babri Masjid, which was demolished by extremist Hindu mob comprising Sangh Parivar groups in 1992. The BJP government cannot mislead the world by such fabrications or hide its deep hatred for minorities in India, especially Muslims.
The formal launch of the Ayodhya mosque on India’s Republic Day is feigning false pretensions of secularism in India while the minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship are increasingly under attack. Willful targeting of Muslims is rampant in BJP’s India ranging from its policies of disenfranchising Muslims to the recent increase in the targeting of Muslim men under the boggy of “Love-Jihad” and other anti-Muslim measures like demonizing, dispossessing, marginalizing and subjecting Muslims to targeted violence.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has passed numerous resolutions, condemning the odious act of demolishing the historic Babri Mosque.
At the 47th session of its Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the OIC called upon the Government of India to take immediate steps to implement its commitment to reconstruct the Babri Masjid on its original site and to punish those responsible for its demolition, prevent the construction of temple on its site, take immediate steps to ensure the protection of the other 3,000 mosques, and ensure the safety and protection of the Muslims and Islamic Holy sites throughout India.
Pakistan once again urges the Indian government to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship, and fulfil its responsibilities under Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments of the United Nations, including the recommendations of the OIC.
We also call upon the international community, the United Nations and relevant international organizations to play their role in preserving the Islamic heritage sites in India from the extremist ‘Hindutva’ regime and ensure the protection of minorities in India.