Foreign Office spokesperson condemns Delhi’s restrictions on Eidul Azha prayers in India-held Jammu and Kashmir
Pakistan has repeatedly urged the global community to discourage India from continuing its disproportionate arms build-up, as it could lead to an arms race in South Asia, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said on Thursday.
During her weekly press briefing, Farooqui said the world had already witnessed the bellicose and irresponsible rhetoric of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Indian government in its pursuit of a revisionist agenda. Referring to reports of the Indian Air Force acquiring Rafale jets, she said it was clear that Delhi was amassing military capabilities beyond its security requirements.
She alleged this arms build-up was being aided and abetted by the Western world through a policy of exemptions, waivers and supply of advanced equipment, technology and weapons for narrow commercial interests. She said this violates various export control regimes designed to prevent destabilizing accumulations of arms in various regions, including in those where there were already outstanding conflicts.
Pakistan, said the spokesperson, remained open to consideration of all measures linked to crisis management, risk reduction, and strategic restraint. She said that Pakistan was steadfastly opposed to any arms race in South Asia but warned that it cannot ignore these developments. However, she added, Pakistan was confident of its ability to thwart any ill-considered act of aggression.
Referring to the upcoming Eidul Azha, Farooqui strongly condemned Indian authorities for imposing restrictions on annual prayers in India-held Jammu and Kashmir. She said the imposition of such restrictions on one of the most important days of the Islamic calendar exhibited Delhi’s complete disrespect of the sentiments of Muslims living in India-held Jammu and Kashmir, and was also a flagrant violation of their fundamental freedom of religion.
The Foreign Office spokesperson urged the international community, including the United Nations and various human rights organizations, to take notice of India’s ongoing denial of religious rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people in total violation of international laws and conventions.