Pakistan will continue to raise voice against the grave HR violations in IIOJK: FO Pakistan will also continue to extend political, diplomatic & moral support to our Kashmiri brothers & sisters.

Pakistan will continue to raise voice against the grave HR violations in IIOJK: FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch

Says we will also continue to extend political, diplomatic & moral support to our Kashmiri brothers & sisters

Says FM Bilawal to visit New York in the context of conference on women & Islam understanding rights & identity of women in Islamic world

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch has said that Pakistan will continue to raise voice against the grave human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), adding that we will also continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters for the just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.

This was stated by Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch in her weekly press briefing on Thursday. At the start of the weekly press briefing, the FO spokesperson said that she will begin with the recent tragic case of Pakistanis who were onboard a vessel that capsized off the coast of Italy on 26th January 2023. Two Pakistani nationals have lost their lives in the tragic incident. 17 Pakistanis have been rescued while two individuals are still missing. Our Embassy in Rome remains actively engaged with the Italian authorities for the welfare of the survivors and transportation of the mortal remains of the deceased, she said.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that in a separate tragic incident, thus far 7 Pakistani nationals have perished in a boat wreck near Benghazi, Libya. Embassy of Pakistan in Libya is facilitating the process of identification of the bodies and transportation of the mortal remains to Pakistan with the support of local authorities and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are also in contact with the families of the deceased, she said.

FO spokesperson said that on Wednesday, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar participated in the High-Level Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament held in Geneva. In a recorded video message, she spoke about the importance of addressing the existing and emerging risks to global and regional security. She expressed Pakistan’s concerns about the troubling trends on display in South Asia, which are straining the security environment; heightening risks to regional peace and stability; reinforcing a sense of impunity; and freezing pathways to conflict resolution through peaceful means.

She said that the Minister of State outlined Pakistan’s vision and policy for peaceful neighborhood on the basis of universally agreed principles; sovereign equality and undiminished security for all States; and pacific settlement of disputes. She also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapons free world and its desire for a renewed paradigm for arms control.

FO spokesperson said that Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar also participated virtually in the High-Level Segment of the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council being held in Geneva. In her statement, she reaffirmed Pakistan’s full commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and outlined Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen its domestic human rights architecture by enacting progressive laws, and improving their implementation, upgrading institutional support, and reinforcing parliamentary and judicial oversight.

She said that the Minister of State invited international attention to the situation of human rights in IIOJK, called for the protection of the rights of the Kashmiris in the occupied territory, and urged the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present an updated report and apprise this Council about the grave human rights situation there.

“She reiterated Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the recent burnings of the Holy Quran in Europe, expressed our concerns about rising Islamophobia and stereotyping of Muslims, and called for confronting the underlying drivers and actors fanning deliberate hate and incitement to violence” FO spokesperson said.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that the Minister of Economic Affairs Division, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is leading the Pakistan delegation to the Summit of the Contact Group of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on post COVID-19 pandemic global recovery. The Summit, which is being held in Baku from 1-3 March 2023, aims to formulate NAM’s vision and strategy for promoting the agenda of post-pandemic recovery at international platforms. It would also put forward an initiative of establishing UN High-Level panel on Post-COVID-19 Global Recovery.

FO Spokesperson while updating about the human rights violations committed in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) during the month of February said that Indian troops martyred five Kashmiris out of them two in custody, as many as 115 youths were arbitrarily arrested, while seven were injured as Indian forces continue to use brutal force on peaceful protesters.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that the so called cordoned and search operations that totaled 193 last remained the tool for the occupation forces to intimidate and harass the Kashmiris. She said that over 4,000 Kashmiri leaders, activists, youths, students and human rights defenders continue to remain incarcerated in different jails across India and in IIOJK, they are being targeted for their valiant struggle for their rights and freedom.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will visit New York in the context of the conference on women and Islam understanding the rights and identity of women in the Islamic world. The conference is being held on the 8th of March is an initiative of FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, adding that it is being convened by Pakistan in its capacity as the chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Ministers at the UN Headquarters, on the sidelines of the 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She said that the objective of the conference is to bridge the perception reality gap on the rights of women in Islam and to counter the gender stereotypes that are often associated with Muslim women. She said that the conference will celebrate the experiences and successes of iconic Muslim women so as to inspire the younger generations around the world.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that the conference will have the high level and the policy dialogue segments, adding FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will chair the high level segment. “We expect ministerial level participation from OIC Member States and non OIC states, in addition to the leadership of the United Nations, UN Women and other international organizations” she said.

She said that on 10th of March, Foreign Minister will headline an event on Islamophobia in New York. It may be recalled that last year, at the initiative of Pakistan, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 March as the Day to Combat Islamophobia.

She said that Germany’s minister of state for foreign affairs will visit Pakistan from 4th to 7th March 2023, adding that he will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and will review bilateral relations between Pakistan and Germany. She said that the discussions will be held inter-alia on economic cooperation, climate change and regional matters of mutual interest. This will be his first visit to Pakistan.

FO spokesperson said that this visit is taking place within days of the visit of the Foreign Minister and Minister of State to Germany for the Munich Security Dialogue. The visit will also build on the recent visits exchanged between the two sides last year at the level of Foreign Ministers. We will continue to pursue enhanced engagement and dialogue with Germany.