Pakistan to raise its objections on Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai hydroelectric plants at PIC’s Delhi moot: FO

ISLAMABAD, (19th March, 2021, 11:16 pm) (APP):Pakistan on Friday said it would discuss with India a host of issued under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) including “our objections on the designs of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai Hydroelectric Plants” during the two-day meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) being held in New Delhi from Tuesday next.
Pakistan’s delegation, to be led by Commissioner for Indus Waters, Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah, will include officials from the relevant departments, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said at a weekly news briefing here.
“Under the provisions of Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) 1960, Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) is required to meet at least once a year. The 116th Meeting of the PIC will be held in New Delhi on March 23-24,” he said.
To a question, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said that the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission was specifically held under the provisions of the IWT 1960, where only water related issues, which fall under the IWT, would be discussed.
In response to another query, the Spokesperson said that Pakistan had always underscored the need for a meaningful dialogue and peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes with India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
To a question about a letter of Chairman of the United States Committee on Foreign Relations Robert Menendez addressed to the US Secretary of Defense urging him to raise democracy and human rights concerns during his upcoming visit to India, he said the letter was indeed a continuation of the international community’s expression of concerns on serious human rights situation in India and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
“The Chairman has specifically highlighted the “deteriorating situation of democracy in India”, “anti-Muslim sentiments”, “suppression of political dialogue and arrest of political opponents following the abrogation of article 370 in Kashmir,” he added.
The Spokesperson said Pakistan believed that the international community, including the United States, must urge India to stop its consistent and systematic human rights violations in IIOJK and take genuine steps to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in a peaceful manner in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.
To a question about Indian Foreign Secretary’s statement about meaningful Pak-India dialogue, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said such statements were not helpful in resolution of the disputes which were a hurdle in the way of peace and stability in the region.
“Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute and the core issue between India and Pakistan. Pakistan has always underscored the need for a meaningful dialogue and peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes with India,” he maintained.
The Spokesperson said that the landmark Kartarpur initiative by Pakistan despite several challenges and the return of captured Indian pilot Abhinandan after the shooting down of two Indian fighter Jets by Pakistan Air Force were also indicative of Pakistan’s desire for lasting peace in the region.
“The onus is, therefore, on India to create the enabling environment necessary for a ‘meaningful engagement’. The current situation in IIOJK is neither tenable nor acceptable. India needs to take corrective measures in IIOJK to move forward,” he remarked.
To a question, the Spokesperson said Pakistan has consistently maintained that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and negotiations were the only way forward.
“Today the entire international community has come around to Pakistan’s position,” he said adding that all sides must work together for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.
“As for the withdrawal of the U.S. troops, Pakistan supports orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan as a precipitous withdrawal would create a vacuum for spoilers,” the Spokesperson viewed.
About Pakistan’s view on US-China relations, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said that Pakistan enjoyed friendly and cooperative relations with both China and the US.
“China is Pakistan’s time tested and all-weather strategic cooperative partner. Pakistan also has longstanding comprehensive partnership with the US based on convergence of interests on a whole range of issues,” he added.
The Spokesperson mentioned the role of a bridge played by Pakistan between the US and China in the past and said “Pakistan continues to pursue policies that promote cooperation, peace and stability in the region and beyond.”

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