Today marks 291 days of the continued oppression, deliberate acts of terrorizing, inhuman lockdown in Kashmir. MOFA

Today marks 291 days of the continued oppression, deliberate acts of terrorizing, inhuman lockdown and military siege faced by the innocent people in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In recent acts of state terrorism, the Indian occupation forces during yet another “fake encounter” and so-called cordon and search operation torched 15 houses and martyred Junaid Ahmad Sehrai, Tariq Ahmad Shaikh, Tahir Ahmad Bhat and 12 years old Basim Ejaz in Srinagar and Doda areas. The collective punishment of innocent communities is a further reflection of heartless brutalization of Kashmiri people and tantamount to war crimes.

 Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the Indian Government’s sinister design to further deprive the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir through “Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure), 2020.” This domicile law is aimed at changing the demographic structure of IoJ&K and undermining the exercise by the Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination through free and impartial plebiscite in accordance with UNSC Resolutions. The timing of this illegal Indian action in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic is particularly reprehensible and reflects the opportunistic and morally bankrupt mindset of RSS-BJP combine.

 In attempts to divert world attention from its egregious human rights violations in IoJ&K, India again resorted to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Khuiratta and Nikial Sectors on 17 and 18 May 2020 respectively, resulting in serious injuries to four innocent civilians. The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB) have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons. In 2020, India has so far committed 1101 ceasefire violations.

 Voices from around the world continue to condemn the inhuman oppression of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and discrimination against minority communities in India. The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng also expressed concerns over increased hate speech, dehumanization and discrimination against minority communities in India in contravention of international human rights norms and values. He noted with concern that “statements such as those expressed by Member of Parliament Subramanian Swamy that all people are not equal, and that Muslims are not in an ‘equal category’ as others are extremely alarming.” The statement by the UN Special Advisor reinforces our consistent position that hate speech, violent targeting and relentless campaign of brutalization against minorities, especially Muslims, are serious and growing problems under the Hindu Nationalist BJP Government.

 Pakistan welcomes the recent statement issued by the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the OIC strongly condemning and categorically rejecting the Indian Government’s recently introduced ‘Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules’ to alter demographics of IOJ&K and termed it as `Settlement Colonialism` in violation of the OIC, UNSC resolutions, fourth Geneva Convention, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.  

 We also welcome the OIC statement issued yesterday, expressing deep concerns over India`s unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 and subsequent measures to alter demographics of IOJ&K. It also calls on the international community to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir Dispute as per the UNSC Resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

 As part of his diplomatic outreach, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, on the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. The two Ministers exchanged views about the socio-economic ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic. Highlighting that the developing countries had to fight on two fronts, i.e., containing the virus, and staving off starvation, the Foreign Minister briefed Foreign Minister Motegi about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries.

 Pakistan welcomes the signing of the agreement between political leaders in Kabul regarding formation of inclusive government and High Council of National Reconciliation. At this critical juncture, it is vitally important that all Afghan leaders work together constructively in the supreme interest of the Afghan people and help bring lasting peace and stability to the country affected by decades of violence and conflict. While reaffirming our abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan reiterates its commitment to continue to support a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and its neighbors.

 On 18 May 2020, the Special Representatives on Afghanistan Affairs from Pakistan, China, Russia, and Iran held a virtual meeting, and exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and the peace and reconciliation process thereof. The joint statement issued subsequently reiterated support for an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process, and noted that an end to the long-drawn conflict in Afghanistan was only possible through inclusive Intra-Afghan negotiations.

 In the context of providing relief and assistance to Pakistani nationals abroad, our Embassies and Consulates are working round the clock in facilitating repatriation of our citizens.

 In the past few days, 445 Pakistani citizens were repatriated from Dubai, 150 from France and other neighboring countries, including Belgium, Italy and Poland, 105 from Spain, 250 from Canada, 257 from Iraq, 249 from Sudan, 250 from Jeddah, 237 from Indonesia and 331 Pakistani prisoners were brought back from Malaysia. We thank the governments and relevant authorities in these countries for their cooperation for the smooth repatriation of our nationals.

 In addition to this, a special PIA flight carrying 274 Pakistani students from Wuhan city in China arrived in Islamabad on 18 May 2020. During the period of lockdown in Wuhan, the Chinese authorities took extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and security of the Pakistani students. The Government of Pakistan highly appreciates the efforts of the Government and people of China for extending full support and co-operation to our students.

 As of 20 May 2020, 32,883 Pakistani nationals have been repatriated from 39 countries. The repatriation process will continue as per the comprehensive plan.

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