ISLAMABAD: Tiptoeing around allegations of human rights violations in Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Thursday said Pakistan would follow its laws and its international obligations in bringing to justice individuals responsible for events of May 9.
The FO spokesperson was asked to comment on the alarm being raised about human rights violations in Pakistan, and accusations of custodial torture, and curbs on freedom of speech, media and political gatherings.
Indirectly defending the action against May 9 mayhem suspects, she told a weekly press briefing that the government would continue to follow its obligations under the law and the Constitution.
The remarks came a day after the army top brass rejected allegations of human rights violations and vowed to tighten the noose around planners and masterminds of May 9 violent protests.
Referring to reports of arrest of some Afghan nationals during the events of May 9, she said these reports were being verified and in case of their involvement in subversive activities, the law of Pakistan would take its course.
In reply to a question, she said the opening of Iran’s embassy in Riyadh was a welcome and important development in pursuance of normalisation of diplomatic relations.
“Reopening of diplomatic missions by both sides, in our view, forms a tangible confidence-building measure. It will not only contribute significantly towards positive relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but also have a salutary impact on peace and stability in the region,” Ms Baloch noted.
She said Pakistan had a history of actively supporting diplomatic and peaceful efforts of bridging gaps between its friends and brotherly countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
When asked if the matter of mistreatment with former Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had been raised with France, she said a video had been circulating on the media, the veracity of which was yet to be confirmed.
Ms Baloch also said that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline was an important project and Pakistan was committed to it. She, however, said there were certain complications with regard to its implementation.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2023