Ceasefire violations serious threat to peace: foreign office

The constant unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian forces are a serious threat to the regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation, said Nafees Zakaria, Spokesperson for the Foreign Office.

“Pakistan believes that with bilateral mechanism not working at all, it is the international community’s responsibility, more so of the United Nations and UN Security Council Members, to counsel India for an immediate halt to the bloodshed,” he said while speaking at a conference on ‘Strengthening Peace and Cooperation in South Asia: Incentives and Constraints,’ organised by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) here on Wednesday.

Zakaria asserted that the unprovoked ceasefire violations by India with multiple objectives, Indian involvement in promoting terrorism and terror financing in Pakistan, use of Afghanistan’s soil against Pakistan, Indian pronouncements against Balochistan and CPEC and so on, are some of many reasons that make the relations bitter.

Since the extrajudicial killing of young Kashmiri leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 08, 2016, he said, the subsequent blatant human rights violations have been under way and around 150 people have been killed, over a thousand have become blind, more than 16,000 got injured and over 7,000 have been arrested with no news of their fate in Indian occupied Kashmir. “This has sent Indo-Pak relations on a rollercoaster ride down a steep slope,” he added.

The situation has gone from bad to worse with India showing no signs of lessening tension, he said, adding India is deliberately heightening tension on the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary to hide its security forces’ atrocities against innocent Kashmiri people in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that the constant anti-Pakistan statements at the political level are only vitiating the atmosphere further.

He said that Pakistan has sentimental attachment to the Kashmir issue and pursues a declared policy of extending diplomatic, political and moral support to the Kashmiris’ indigenous and peaceful movement for self-determination.

Instead of holding plebiscite in Kashmir as per the UN Security Council resolutions, he said that India is violating the world body’s numerous resolutions and the international community should take notice of the human rights violations in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

About the postponement of SAARC Summit, he regretted that India is using purely a socio-economic platform for political reasons. However, he said that a new date of the Summit will be announced after consultation with the member countries and the venue for the summit will be Pakistan.

To another query regarding Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz’s participation in Heart of Asia Conference in India next month, he said although Heart of Asia is different platform where the issue of Kashmir cannot be raised, yet Kashmir dispute as well as the unprovoked firings on the border will be discussed on the sidelines if any meeting with Indian counterpart was to be held.

In his address, President AJK Masood Khan said that UN Security Council has double standard for Syria, Yemen, North Africa and whole of Africa, but it pays no attention to the issue of Kashmir.

He said that the UN Security Council is not holding any debate despite ruthless killings in Kashmir by Indian security forces.

According to him, if the two nuclear powers, ie, India and Pakistan decide to go to war, it will be a disaster not only for both the countries and South Asian region but for the whole world.

According to him, India has frustrated and obstructed Pakistan’s keen overtures towards peace and reconciliation repeatedly. He said that India has literally set Kashmir on fire with thousands got injured, mutilated and hundreds are killed or kidnapped, there can be no confidence building measures.

He warned that no regional co-operative pacts or deals can work if the Kashmir issue, burning at the core of South Asia, is not resolved. “Kashmir cannot be swept under the carpet,” he said.

He urged the international community to pay immediate attention to stop killings and torture of the people who are demanding their right to self-determination. “Kashmiris have stood up to break the cycle of Indian subjugation, and their demand for self-determination is not rhetoric, rather a legitimate right,” he said, adding the freedom struggle is indigenous being carried out by unarmed young men and women.

According to him, the UN resolutions on Kashmir would remain valid until they are implemented in their true spirit.

He also called upon the younger generations of Pakistan and South Asia to raise their voice and use social media to open the world’s eyes to Indian brutalities.

Dr Attaullah Wahidyar, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Education Afghanistan, while speaking appealed to the South Asian governments that in order to create space for future leadership, the blame game that “Pakistan is a source of terror; India supports the Baloch; the NDS supports the TTP” needs to be stopped.

“The support to and for proxies, Taliban for Pakistan; TTP for India; ISIS for US need to end…Let us stop propaganda wars because they benefit no one. Instead of the blame game, let us develop areas of common interest that benefit the masses in of the region,” he said, adding the South Asia countries should cooperate strategically, and not tactically; and allow the immediate needs of our people to guide our national interest.”

He said that Afghanistan should not only be seen as a problem but also an arena of incentives for connectivity and mineral resources. He said that Afghanistan does not want to be ‘a battlefield for proxy wars; a space to become tested over; nor a buffer to be dominated.’ “What we want is to become a model and platform of cooperation, dignity and prosperity.

This can only happen regionally, not nationally,” he said. For Pakistan, he added that Afghanistan is the best market for developing business partnerships in the private sector, especially in the education, mining and logistics sectors.

-Business Recorder