No change in govt’s Kashmir policy: FO

Published February 27, 2021
FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV/File
FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday insisted that there was no change in the government’s policy on the Kashmir dispute.

“There is no change in Pakistan’s principled and long-held position on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute,” FO spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said at the weekly media briefing while replying to questions about the agreement reached with India following the ‘hotline contact’ between directors general of military operations (DGMOs) of the two countries.

The Pakistan government had earlier laid down conditions for engaging with India, which specifically included reversal of August 2019 action of annexing occupied Jammu and Kashmir and end of human rights violations and atrocities against Kashmiri people.

There has been no major forward movement on any of the engagement conditions set by Pakistan as neither annexation of held Kashmir has been revoked nor have human rights violations ceased.

India has committed over 13,600 ceasefire violations since 2003

“We have been repeatedly saying that gross human rights violations in India and IIOJK are a matter of deep concern,” Mr Chaudhri told the briefing.

Therefore, holding of the DGMOs’ talks came as a surprise in view of the position taken by the Pakistan government.

“The focus of the talks of DGMOs was de-escalation along the Line of Control as per the agreed mechanisms and understandings,” Mr Chaudhri said.

Pakistan, he recalled, had consistently underscored the need for observing the 2003 ceasefire understanding in letter and in spirit for maintaining peace along the Line of Control.

“We have also maintained that escalation along the Line of Control is a threat to regional peace and security,” he said, asserting that the latest development was very much in line with Pakistan’s consistent position.

He said that India had committed over 13,600 ceasefire violations since 2003. Last year, there were 3,097 ceasefire violations, resulting in martyrdom of 28 people and injuries to 257 others.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2021

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