Foreign Office spokesman says Delhi must implement stricter measures for nuclear safety
Pakistan on Thursday reiterated its call for India to revisit its “unlawful and destabilizing” actions in India-held Jammu and Kashmir, adding it should ensure compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Addressing a press briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri warned that reports of Delhi’s plans for further changes to the disputed territory could “imperil regional peace and security.” He stressed that Pakistan would continue to oppose any Indian attempts to alter the demographic structure and disputed status of India-held Jammu and Kashmir. He said that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had written a letter to the U.N. secretary general and the UNSC president urging them to raise the issue with India.
The spokesman also reiterated Pakistan’s concerns about the recovery of weapons-grade uranium in India, noting this had been reported by their own media. He said such incidents pointed to lax controls, poor regulatory and enforcement mechanisms, and the possible existence of a black market for nuclear materials. “Instead of resorting to baseless and usual anti-Pakistan rhetoric, India must thoroughly investigate the matter in a credible and transparent manner. To comply with its international obligations, India must also take verifiable measures for strengthening the security of its nuclear materials,” he added. He said it was surprising that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson had sought to use the incident as an example of Pakistan trying to malign India.
To a question about convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, Chaudhri said Pakistan abided by all its international obligations, including the International Court of Justice’s judgment in this particular case. “The legislative measures taken by Pakistan are only aimed at giving full effect to the ICJ judgment. The legislation or its purpose should not be, in any way, misconstrued,” he added.
To another question, he said that Pakistan was committed to further strengthening its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism regime regardless of the outcome of the upcoming plenary meeting of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF). He said the meeting scheduled for the last week of June would review Pakistan’s progress under the FATF Action Plan and subsequently announce its decision, adding that Islamabad had thus far fulfilled 26 out of 27 points.
“As you are aware, Pakistan has made significant strides during the implementation of the Action Plan through concerted national efforts. The tremendous progress made by Pakistan leading towards the conclusion of the Action Plan has been acknowledged by the FATF as well as the larger international community,” he added.
On the issue of U.A.E. visas for Pakistanis, Chaudhri said the government had shared the latest information about Pakistan’s COVID-19 numbers with the Emirati government. “We hope the U.A.E. will review its COVID related advisory for all Pakistanis soon. Currently, Pakistanis having diplomatic and official visas and U.A.E. golden visas can travel,” he said.
He said Islamabad had also raised the issue of vaccinations with Saudi Arabia to facilitate Pakistanis wishing to travel to the Gulf kingdom. “We have proposed inclusion of some of the Chinese vaccines used in Pakistan in the list of vaccines approved by the Saudi authorities,” he said.