In weekly briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson seeks to dismiss perception that the OIC is not supporting Kashmir cause
Pakistan hopes that the ongoing U.S.-Taliban peace talks reach their logical conclusion and facilitate intra-Afghan negotiations for a lasting détente, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said on Thursday.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, Farooqui said Islamabad had conveyed its desire for an intra-Afghan dialogue to U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad during his visit to Pakistan last month. She said Pakistan was closely following progress of the ongoing peace talks, adding it was promising that the Taliban had called for a reduction in violence and shown willingness for dialogue.
To a question, Farooqui said Islamabad was aware of protests staged outside the Pakistani embassy in Kabul, and had raised the matter with Afghan authorities. The protesters were demanding that Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Manzoor Pashteen be released.
The Foreign Office spokesperson also lamented that the venue for a function marking Kashmir Solidarity Day had been changed—reportedly at the behest of the Afghan government—and said concerns had been officially conveyed to Kabul.
Listing the events and ceremonies organized to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, Farooqui said the plight of residents of India-held Kashmir was shared at Pakistan’s embassies and high commissions across the world to inform the world that Islamabad stands by its Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for the right to self-determination. She said these ceremonies were attended by local parliamentarians, intellectuals, leaders of public opinion, civil society activists and people from various strata of life from the host countries, as well as Pakistani expatriates.
To another question, Farooqui sought to dismiss the perception that the Organization for Islamic Cooperation had not fully backed the Kashmir cause. She said the OIC had been one of the strongest proponents of Kashmiris, adding that several resolutions passed by the Muslim bloc had slammed India’s treatment of Kashmiris, including the gross human rights violations taking place there. She also noted that the OIC had fully backed the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visiting Islamabad next week, Farooqui said the modalities of the trip were still under discussion. She said Pakistan and Turkey enjoyed warm and cordial relations and both stand by each other in times of need.
The Foreign Office spokesperson also clarified that only four Pakistani students had been infected with the novel coronavirus in China, adding that their condition was reportedly stable. She said the Chinese government is very active and providing all out support to foreign nationals in their country.