Pakistan and India should restore High Commissioners: NA Panel on Foreign Affairs.

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Islamabad, The National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs recommended that both of Pakistan and India should restore High Commissioners in each other’s capital. Chaired by MNA the Committee was briefed on Foreign Minister’s recent visit to India and it was underscored that the Foreign Minister’s participation in the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the relevance of the SCO and the importance that Pakistan attaches to regional peace, security, economic prosperity and connectivity.

The Committee was informed that the member States do not bring bilateral relations on SCO platform. However, to respond to the insinuating remarks of Indian Foreign Minister over cross border terrorism, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto in his statement, condemned the “unilateral and illegal measures by States in violation of international law and Security Council resolutions”, which run counter to the SCO objectives. The Foreign Minister was also successful in bringing home Pakistan’s narrative on terrorism by highlighting Pakistan’s successful fight against terrorism and the sacrifices of our people and armed forces. Alluding to the current political dispensation in India, the FM emphasized collective action to fight against “fascism, and historical revisionism that leads to violent ultranationalism as well as to ensure that racism and xenophobic ideologies, have no place in today’s world.

It was highlighted that Pakistan’s case was not so forcefully presented on the Indian soil since 2012. It was added that dispute over Kashmir has legal and moral dimensions and that Pakistan has successfully conveyed the parallels between Kashmir and Ukraine in terms of applicability of the international law. Referring to the G-20 summit in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintained that such summits may not lay legitimize the illegal and unilateral annexation of the occupied territories. Referring to the Statement of the UN Special Rapporteurs regarding violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir, the officials maintained that Pakistan has successfully altered the perceptions of internationally community regarding Kashmir issue.

The Chairman of the Committee remarked that Parliament has ceded space to non-elected officials on policies pertaining to India and Afghanistan and underscored greater role for the representative institutions in foreign policy. At the outset of the meeting, one of the Members raised concerns as to why the United States Congressmen lent support to a political party in Pakistan that has supported mob attacks in Pakistan. She stated that such support ran contrary to the spirit of democracy where rule of law, rights of individuals and social justice prevail and where stronger democracies support fragile democracies.

Besides Chairman of the Committee MNA Mohsin Dawar, the Minister State for Foreign Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, MNA Muhammad Khan Daha, MNA Ms. Zahra Wadood Fatemi, MNA Nauman Islam Sheikh, MNA Muhammad Abu Bakar, MNA Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, and MNA Ms. Mehnaz Akbar Aziz also attended the meeting.