ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Thursday the recent assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist violated international law.
“Such acts not only run contrary to all norms of interstate relations and International Law but also threaten the peace and stability of an already fragile region,” Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Chaudhri said at his weekly media briefing.
He was reacting to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the Research and Innovation Organisation of Iran’s Defence Minister, near Tehran last Friday. The assassination is being blamed on Israel.
A number of Iranian scientists have been assassinated in the past. Earlier this year senior Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone attack on his arrival in Baghdad.
Says Pakistan urges all sides to exercise maximum restraint
Pakistan’s official reaction on Thursday was the most categorical one about the setbacks suffered by Iran.
“We extend sincere condolences to the family members of Fakhrizadeh and to the Iranian people,” the FO spokesman said.
He urged all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions in the region.
“We believe that reduction in tensions is essential for regional peace and security,” he added.
Recalling Pakistan’s role for reducing tensions in the Middle East in the past, Mr Chaudhri said that Islamabad will continue to play any role that leads to de-escalation of tensions in the region.
He reiterated Pakistan’s support for the Iran Deal, more commonly known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying the accord represented a good example of mutually agreed and negotiated settlement of complex issues through diplomatic engagement at the international level.
Mr Chaudhri urged all parties to the JCPOA to adhere to their respective commitments.
ISRAEL: Replying to a question about new Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, the FO spokesman said Pakistan is concerned over the initiation of the bidding process for construction of new settlements.
“Pakistan condemns the Israeli decision which is illegal under international law and the relevant UN resolutions,” he maintained.
The Israel Land Authority had nearly three weeks ago called bids for construction of about 1,200 homes in East Jerusalem. The new settlement, it is feared, can disconnect a Palestinian town from West Bank.
“Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and reiterates its consistent, clear and unambiguous position — for just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Mr Chaudhri said while reaffirming Pakistan’s position on the Palestine dispute.
“It is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State,” he added.
UNITED STATES: The spokesman said Pakistan wants to see activities under its structured dialogue with US resumed after Biden administration takes office on Jan 20.
Pakistan, he said, was working with the new administration to further strengthen the bilateral ties and continue the partnership to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
“We expect that the new US administration would also take notice of the ongoing grave humanitarian situation and willful defiance of international law, democratic norms and human rights obligations by India in IIOJK,” he further said.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2020