In weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokesman says Islamabad hopes to strengthen bilateral ties with Washington under President Joe Biden
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday reiterated a call for the international community to take action against India’s ongoing human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, stressing that Delhi’s continued defiance of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions was a threat to regional peace.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri accused India of being a fascist state, adding that this had been fully exposed by its actions against minority communities. He said India had masqueraded as a victim of terror despite being the chief sponsor of terrorism in Pakistan, and referred to the revelations of EUDisinfoLab as proof that it was spreading propaganda against Islamabad.
Chaudhri vowed that Pakistan would continue to sensitize the international community about India’s actions. He welcomed a recent hearing by the European Parliament as “an acknowledgement of the international community against the misuse of prestigious platforms by India against Pakistan.”
Ties with Washington
The Foreign Office spokesman said that Islamabad valued its ties with Washington, as they had helped maintain regional peace and stability. “We have achieved a lot by working together in the past. The logic for continued engagement and coordination is even more compelling in the context of shared geopolitical and security challenges,” he said to a question on the government’s strategy to engage the new U.S. administration of Joe Biden.
“We look forward to working with the new administration to further strengthen our bilateral ties to make it multifaceted, sustainable and mutually beneficial and continue our partnership to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” Chaudhri said, noting that both had been cooperating for peace in Afghanistan for several years.
On the Afghanistan peace process, the spokesman said that much progress had been achieved in the past year, including the formal signing of an agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban, the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, and a formal agreement on the rules and procedures for the talks. “We believe that the intra-Afghan negotiations have now advanced into an important phase where all the negotiating sides are required to show continued commitment and responsibility for moving forward towards reaching a comprehensive political settlement. It is important for Afghans to seize this historic opportunity,” he said, adding that Islamabad had been calling on all sides to reduce violence so a ceasefire could be achieved.
However, he said, any further progress was linked to the intra-Afghan negotiations.
To a question, the spokesman said he could not comment on the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitting Omar Sheikh, the primary accused in the kidnapping and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, which the U.S. has described as an “affront to terrorism victims everywhere.” He said that thus far he had only seen media reports on the development. “The detailed judgement of the court is still awaited. I am not in a position to offer any further comments,” he added.