ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday expressed concern over recurring acts of confiscation of properties of Kashmiri activists and human rights defenders in Indian held Jammu and Kashmir.

“India’s National Investigation Agency and the State Investigation Agency (SIA) have moved aggre­s­sively to seize immovable properties of several Kashmiri activists,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch told a weekly briefing.

She said it was a matter of concern that just SIA had attached 124 such properties since its establishment in 2021.

“We condemn India’s recent move to confiscate the property of All Parties Hurriyat Conference spokesperson and Tehreek-i-Hurriyat leader, Ayaz Akbar, in Srinagar. Mr Akbar remains behind the bars since 2017 on fictitious charges,” she said.

“Kashmiris are the rightful heirs to their own land. It is unfortunate that non-Kashmiris are being encouraged to buy land and property in the disputed territory while the properties of Kashmiris are being confiscated and destroyed,” she said.

When asked to comment on reports that Afghan government was ready to shift the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the northern part of Afghanistan, she said Pakistan was engaged with the Afghan interim government on the serious concern that it has about the menace of terrorism.

About concerns raised by US State Department spokesperson over functioning of military courts, Ms Baloch reiterated that Pakistan was a country of laws and the Constitution.

“Any actions of the Government of Pak­istan with regard to the events of May 9 will be in accordance with our laws and Constitution,” the spokesperson said.

In response to a question about cases registered against Pakistani expatriates for writing or speaking against the government or some of the institutions, Ms Baloch said Pakistan will continue to follow its laws and Constitution in holding those responsible for May 9 events to account.

When asked if a Pakistani social media activist, retired Major Adil Raja, has been arrested in the UK, and had such a request been made by Pakistan, the spokesperson said: “It would be more appropriate if the details are sought from the UK authorities.”

Pakistan-Denmark ministers’ meeting

Separately, Dan Jørgensen, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy met with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Thursday to discuss the “Plan of Action (2023-2027)” on the Green Framework Engagement Agreement, signed by Pakistan and Denmark in August last year.

An FO statement said the plan would pave the way for joint initiatives and projects in renewable energy and green transition driven by technological advancement and collaborative partnerships.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2023

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