FO says 'real possibility' of India staging another false flag operation

Published January 13, 2022
FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad addresses a weekly media briefing on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad addresses a weekly media briefing on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday warned that there was a "real possibility" that neighbouring India might stage "another false flag operation".

FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad made the comments during his weekly media briefing, where he touched upon several topics, including Indian human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

In his opening statement, the FO spokesperson said that Kashmir’s Right to Self-Determination Day was observed earlier this month on Jan 5.

"On this day in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan in its resolution guaranteed the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations," he said.

He noted that in messages marking the occasion, President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi highlighted the grave human rights violations in IIOJK and urged the international community to ensure accountability for the crimes against humanity and to play their role in resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

"Pakistan reaffirmed its steadfast support for the Kashmiris till the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination," he said, adding that it was "reprehensible" that Indian occupation forces were continuing the killing spree in IIOJK.

"Since the start of this year, at least 15 Kashmiris have fallen victim to extra-judicial killings in fake encounters and so-called cordon-and-search operations. At least 210 Kashmiris were martyred in 2021. India is also shamelessly targeting journalists and human rights defenders," the spokesperson said.

"We are also concerned and we are continuing to alert the international community about India’s track record. There is a real possibility that India might stage another false flag operation to complicate the current situation. So we continue to alert our friends in the international community about this prospect," he added.

Ahmad also called on the international community to take immediate notice of Indian state-terrorism in IIOJK and to hold New Delhi accountable for the egregious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

"India must allow unhindered access to international human rights and humanitarian organisations and UN Special Mandate Holders to conduct independent investigations in IIOJK," he said.

Relations with India

According to Radio Pakistan, Ahmad also said that Pakistan remained committed to peaceful relations with all its neighbours, including India.

"However, the onus is on India to create an enabling environment for dialogue," he said while responding to question from a reporter.

The FO spokesperson regretted that there was no visible change in India's "hostile attitude and negative behaviour," the state broadcaster quoted him as saying.

Minorities in India

During the media briefing, the FO spokesperson also said that the "despicable harassment and insult of Muslim women in India through purpose-built online application" was rightly and widely condemned.

Read: Indian Muslim women again offered for ‘sale’ on app

"This obnoxious and repugnant act is the newest low in the violent streak of hate attacks and targeting of minorities with impunity overseen by the BJP-RSS extremist dispensation under which space for minorities is continuously shrinking in India," he said.

He added that the "deafening silence" of the BJP leadership and the absence of discernible action against Hindutva proponents openly calling for genocide of Muslims should "send alarm bells across the international community".

As the prime minister had said, it is high time the global community takes note and acts to stop this dangerous slide and ensure the safety, security and well being of minorities in India, he added.

PM Imran to pay three-day visit to China

The Radio Pakistan report also quoted the FO spokesperson as saying that the premier would embark on a three-day visit to China on February 3 to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics at the invitation of Chinese leadership.

During his visit, the premier will also interact with the Chinese leadership to further strengthen the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and to exchange views on regional and international issues, he said.

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