Future of people of Jammu & Kashmir, to be decided by the wish of Kashmiri people and UN Security Council resolutions; Mumtaz

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Transcript of the Press Briefing by the Mumtaz Zahra Spokesperson ministry of foreign affairs.

Islamabad, This was an important week for Pakistan’s diplomacy for Palestine.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister visited Istanbul, Türkiye on 08 June 2024 to attend the Extraordinary Meeting of the D-8 Council of Foreign Ministers held to discuss the “Situation in Gaza”.
The Deputy Prime Minister presented Pakistan’s stance on the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the urgency of an unconditional ceasefire, lifting of the siege and unimpeded flow of aid for the Palestinian people. He called for unified international efforts, especially by the D-8, to end the war being waged against the people of Gaza and the war crimes being perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces.
On the sidelines, Deputy Prime Minister Dar met with the Foreign Ministers of Türkiye, Malaysia and the acting Foreign Minister of Iran. He also called on, along with the other participating Foreign Ministers of the D-8 countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar also attended the high-level conference “Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza” held on 10-11 June 2024 in Amman, Jordan. The conference was jointly organized at the initiative of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and His Excellency António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In his statement at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Dar condemned the illegal acts of the occupation authorities for violating international law, employing starvation as a tool of war, and targeting humanitarian supplies and infrastructure. He also criticized Israel for ignoring calls from the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the wider international community, and even its own allies to halt its aggression against the people of Gaza.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister called for a complete, durable, and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza and an end to violence in the West Bank. He called for enhanced humanitarian aid to Gaza and support for UNRWA, advocating for the reversal of suspended donor support. He also advocated for an embargo on military supplies to Israel, demanded the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and suggested deploying an international force to protect Palestinian civilians.
On the sidelines of the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Dar met with the President-elect of Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto; the Foreign Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Utama Mohamad Hasan; and, the Minister of State of the UK, Lord Tariq Ahmad. He also met the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres.
Pakistan welcomes the 12 June 2024 report of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. The findings of the Commission of Inquiry have confirmed reports of Israeli war crimes of starvation as a method of warfare, murder or wilful killing, intentionally directing attacks against civilians, forcible transfer, torture and inhuman or cruel treatment.
Pakistan believes that the time has come to hold Israel accountable for its grave crimes. We call on global conscience to force Israel towards an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. It is also critical to bring an end to the war on the people of Gaza. In this context, Pakistan notes positively the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2735 and expresses hope for a permanent and sustainable ceasefire and an end to the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.
The 33rd anniversary of the massacre at Chhota Bazaar, Srinagar was observed on 11 June. On 11 June 1991, India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel had opened fire at civilians, which resulted in the killing of 32 people and injury to 22 others. The victims also included an old woman and a child. We remember the victims on this sombre occasion and demand justice for them.
Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters for the just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.
Questions and Answers

(Khawaja Nayyar Iqbal, Media Today): Ma’am, Farooq Abdullah asked Indian Prime Minister Modi to hold talks with Pakistan for the resolution of problems. Is there any chance from Pakistan to open the closed doors for talks? Secondly, in IIOJK, Chief of Police has said that Pakistan is responsible for recent attacks. Please comment on it.

Spokesperson: Regarding your first question, We do not comment on such reports which we believe are irrelevant to the future dispensation for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which needs to be decided in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. On your second question, the Indian occupation authorities and media have a habit of making such irresponsible statements. No one takes these allegations seriously.

(Azaz Syed, Geo News): Ma’am, I have two questions, my first question is that Pakistan has recently introduced a new policy to ban passports for asylum seekers. The US State Department has criticized this policy. Need your views on it. Secondly, Narendra Modi has been elected for third time as a Prime Minister of India. He did not get the comfortable win he was expecting and has formed a coalition government, he could not cross the number of 300. So, how do you see working with the new Prime Minister of India?
(Naveed Siddique, Daily Dateline): Ma’am, I have supplementary on both questions. First, please confirm that has Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the letter sent by Ministry of Interior regarding new policy? Plus, those who are abroad, as per our knowledge, YouTubers or anti-state or anti-government or anti forces are the special targets, plus their purpose has been served regarding the government’s new policy, they have surrendered their passports in Canada, America, Australia and in other countries and have seek asylum there. Their purpose has been served. Secondly, has any congratulatory message to Mr. Modi been sent from Pakistan or is it being sent? What is government’s policy regarding this matter?
Spokesperson: Decisions of the government of Pakistan with regards to issuance of passports and immigration matters pertain to the Ministry of Interior and we would advise you to seek more details from them. With regards to your second question, as I have said on multiple occasions Pakistan has no commentary to offer with regards to the elections or the domestic matters inside India and I do not wish to indulge in that commentary today as well. Lastly, with regards to the question by Mr. Naveed Siddique, you may have seen a congratulatory tweet by the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the oath taking of Prime Minister Modi. I have nothing further to add to that.
(Shaukat Piracha, AAJ News):  We have seen the “X” message by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The External Affairs Minister of India Dr. Jaishankar addressed the media day before yesterday. He said something that is very much related to Pakistan. Areporter asked him that in the previous term he had been talking of what they say POK we say AJK, and he did not comment. Secondly, “Nawaz Sharif sahib ne message bheja to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ne swagat kiya hai.” Should we infer that there is some ray of light for improvement in relations between the two countries? How you see the message from the Indian External Affairs Minister?
Spokesperson: It is customary for heads of state and government to congratulate their counterparts on assumption of their respective office and the congratulatory tweet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was in that context. You may have also seen the response from the Prime Minister of India. I would not like to give any more explanation with regards to these messages which I said are customary in nature.
(Anas Mallick, Capital TV): Since we’re talking about diplomatic necessities, is there a letter of felicitation that might have been written by both the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of Pakistan or could be in the works to his Indian counterpart?
Spokesperson: As far as I understand, there has been no exchange of letters.
(Anas Mallick, Capital TV): The Indian media is blaming three recent Pakistani attacks on their side of Kashmir and pointing to “Pakistan-based organizations”. Do you have any commentary to offer?
Spokesperson:  We have seen those reports and the commentary. These are reports from the Indian media. The Indian media has a habit of making such claims. These are unsubstantiated news reports that do not merit our comment.
(Abdul Hadi Mayar, Hum Pashto 1 News): Thank you, Ma’am. Last week, Pakistan and Afghanistan reciprocally eased visa restrictions for transporters and traders. But, that facility has only been extended to bilateral trade, not the Afghan transit trade in which a large number of Pakistani and Afghan traders and transporters are interested. Is there any consideration to extend that facility to Afghan transit trade as will?
Spokesperson: As you know, the two sides have been engaged with each other to discuss all aspects of the TAD system. Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to introduce and implement these arrangements to facilitate trade vehicles, drivers and helpers from both sides. And under this arrangement, designated officers are in contact to ensure smooth implementation of the mechanism and to promote cross border trade. This process will continue and any issues of mutual concern that arise will be discussed through these designated officials. For further details, you make contact the Ministry of Commerce.
(Rizwan Abbasi, Daily Ausaf): Thank you, Ma’am. Has it been decided that Pakistan will participate in the Ukraine Peace Conference being held in Switzerland on 15th and 16th of June.
Spokesperson: Pakistan stands for universal and consistent application of UN Charter principles, including non-use or threat of use of force, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, pacific settlement of disputes, and equal security for all states. We reiterate our call for immediate cessation of hostilities and stress the need for diplomacy and dialogue for an early negotiated end to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. As I conveyed earlier, Pakistan received an invitation from Switzerland for the Conference, which is being held from 15th to 16th of June. However, due to a host of factors, including scheduling challenges, Pakistan is not participating in this conference.
(Anas Mallick, Capital TV): Three days ago, the Defense Minister, in a TV program on Geo news said that during the recent visit, Pakistan and China, have agreed for a “Joint Surveillance Mechanism”, for the safety and security of the Chinese nationals. Now this was missing from the Joint Communique. And this hasn’t been talked about. Can you delve into the contours of this “Joint Surveillance Mechanism”? Thank you.
Spokesperson: I would underline that the understandings reached between Pakistan and China, with regards to various issues of mutual concern including the security and safety of Chinese nationals, have been adequately reflected in the Joint Statement. I do not have any additional commentary to offer and to comment on any statement made by any official or public leader.
(Abdullah Momand, Dawn News): In a recent development, the United States State Department has shown concern on the new policy regarding passports for those seeking asylum. The State Department asked Pakistan that this policy would violate the Human Rights. Second question is about reports that the United States has asked Pakistan to remove the name of Khadijah Shah, who was involved in 9 May riots, from ECL. Are there any developments between Pakistan and the United States? Thank you.
Spokesperson: Ms. Khadijah Shah’s case is under trial and it is being dealt with according to Pakistani laws. Pakistani courts will make decisions regarding the case pertaining to Ms. Khadijah Shah. With regards to your other question, I would like to underline that decisions regarding issuance of passports to Pakistani nationals or individuals who have decided to renounce their nationality and seek asylum abroad are important decisions. With respect to these questions, the Government of Pakistan will take decisions according to its own laws.
(Khawaja Nayyar Iqbal, Media Today): Ma’am, what are updates on issues related to Chaman border?

Spokesperson: I would not comment on that because the border matters do not pertain to this ministry.  I can only underline what I said in my last briefing that it is the policy of Pakistan that any individual who travels to Pakistan should come here on a valid passport and valid visa.
(Azaz Syed, Geo News): Ma’am, what is the status of the repatriation plan of illegal foreigners in Pakistan?
Spokesperson: The position is clear. The Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan is underway, as was decided by the Government of Pakistan several months ago and any individual who is here illegally, irrespective of their nationality, is expected to return to their home country or a third country that is willing to accept them.
(Javed Hussain, 92 News): Thank you, Ma’am. An article was published in a newspaper that highlighted the Pakistan-UAE relations and in the article, it was highlighted that UAE authorities are reluctant to issue visas to Pakistanis or there is an undeclared and unofficial sanction to issue visas to Pakistanis. Is there any information about it?
Spokesperson: I have not seen the article that you are referring to so I cannot comment on it.
(Allah Noor Wazir, Mashriq TV): Thank you. Ma’am, what are the reasons of terrorism in Pakistan and who supports TTP?
Spokesperson: I think this question would be better addressed by the Ministry of Interior. They will be in a better position to share with you, the genesis of terror incidents inside Pakistan and the financiers, sponsors and perpetrators of these terror attacks. Pakistan has said, time and again, that we are concerned about the terror threat that we face in Pakistan because of sponsorship and support from across our borders and this is remains a prime concern for Pakistan.
(Azaz Syed, Geo News): There are certain individuals who are wanted by different Pakistani courts and Pakistani law enforcement agencies and they are hiding in Afghanistan. Would you mind sharing when did Afghan authorities last assured Pakistan that they would be handing over any such individuals who are wanted by the Pakistani authorities?
Spokesperson: I do not have specific details in response to your question but I can reiterate that Pakistan has raised, on multiple occasions, our concerns with the Afghan authorities about individuals wanted for terror attacks inside Pakistan or for sponsoring terror attacks inside Pakistan. We have conveyed to them the intelligence and law enforcement reports of the involvement of individuals responsible for terror attacks inside Pakistan with backing from elements inside Afghanistan. During his visit to Afghanistan last month our Secretary Interior shared with the Afghan side concrete evidence of the involvement of such individuals in the Besham attack.We expect Afghanistan to take effective action against such individuals.
(Abdul Hadi Mayar, Hum Pashto 1 News): Thank you, Ma’am. With regard to the Chaman incident, you spoke of the visa restrictions for Afghan nationals. But here the demand is from Pakistani nationals that their entry into Afghanistan should also ease. What are Pakistan’s considerations?
Spokesperson: This is a matter of prime concern and Pakistan remains engaged with Afghanistan to facilitate the business and trader community for travel to Afghanistan, and to facilitate bilateral trade. We believe that all exchanges should take place on the basis of legal documents. The concerns of our Pakistani business and trader community were an important consideration when agreeing with Afghanistan on interim arrangements with regards to the TAD agreement.