Delhi’s expansionist designs a threat to regional security: FO

Published January 14, 2022
A photo of Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar. — Screengrab via FO Facebook
A photo of Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar. — Screengrab via FO Facebook

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday rejected Indian army chief’s allegations about the existence of launch pads and training camps in Azad Kashmir as fallacious and warned that Delhi’s expansionist designs posed a threat to regional peace and stability.

In a rejoinder to Gen Naravane’s remarks at a press conference ahead of India’s Army Day, the FO said: “Pakistan categorically rejects the Indian Army Chief’s fallacious comments insinuating the presence of so-called ‘launch pads’ and ‘training’ camps across the Line of Control (LoC).”

The FO said Gen Naravane’s allegations were part of India’s continuing malicious anti-Pakistan propaganda being pedalled by the BJP-RSS combine at the helm in India.

The Indian government, it said, was driven by a belligerent and expansionist agenda embedded in the delusional notion of “Akhand Bharat”, which posed a grave threat to regional peace.

The FO said the allegations against Pakistan were “a desperate attempt” to divert global attention from India’s unabated state-terrorism and egregious human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

“Pakistan calls on India to forthwith halt its tyranny in the IIOJK, renounce its campaign of persecution of Kashmiris, and let them exercise their right to self-determination as promised to them under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” it said.

The FO reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to pursue meaningful dialogue with India for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including Jammu and Kashmir. The onus, it said, was, however, on India to create an enabling environment conducive for dialogue.

Speaking at the FO briefing, spokesman Asim Iftikhar said Pakistan remained committed to peaceful relations with its neighbours including India.

He regretted that there was no visible change in the hostile attitude and negative behaviour of India although it was responsible for providing a conducive environment for dialogue.

He said Pakistan would continue to highlight Kashmir dispute and the rights of oppressed Kashmiri people at all international forums.

He regretted that Indian occupation forces were continuing with the killing spree in occupied Kashmir.

Since the start of this year, he said, at least 15 Kashmiris had 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, he noted, was also shamelessly targeting journalists and human rights defenders.

P-5 statement welcomed

The FO spokesman welcomed the P-5 Joint Statement on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races as a positive development.

However, he underscored that the realisation of the objective of global disarmament would require a conducive security environment.

This, he said, could only happen through cessation of destabilising arms build-ups and addressing asymmetries, settlement of disputes and commitment to strategic stability rather than competition.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...
Post-flood economy
Updated 24 Sep, 2022

Post-flood economy

WITH a third of the country — especially Sindh and Balochistan — under water, over 33m people displaced, and...
Panadol shortage
24 Sep, 2022

Panadol shortage

FROM headaches to fever to bodily pain — paracetamol is used ubiquitously in Pakistan as the go-to remedy for most...
Star-struck cops
24 Sep, 2022

Star-struck cops

IN this age of selfies and social media, it is easy to get carried away in the presence of famous people, even if ...