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Allegations against Pakistan in recent Indo-US joint statement baseless, inconsistent with established diplomatic norms: FO

Taking strong exception to the unwarranted references against “a third country” in the recently issued Indo-US Joint Statement of September 6, 2018, Pakistan on Thursday rejected the allegations as “baseless” and termed it “inconsistent with the established diplomatic norms”.
“Accordingly we conveyed our position to the US side. The ministry is of the view that mentioning of a third country with unsubstantiated accusations in a formal outcome document is inconsistent with the established diplomatic norms,” said Foreign Office Spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal here in a media briefing with reference to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to India.
“What is more ironic is that many other thorny issues involving the third countries were avoided in the Joint Statement by the Indian side on the pretext of the same diplomatic practice. As you are aware, the Mumbai trial is ongoing in the Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan. The judicial process shall take its course,” he added.
The Foreign Office Spokesman said Pakistan expected the US to focus similarly, if not more, on the Indian state terrorism and the resulting humanitarian emergency in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), where Indian atrocities have intensified.
“Indian occupation forces continue to kill innocent Kashmiris with impunity. Last month alone, more than 30 innocent Kashmiris were slaughtered in cold-blood. Hurriyat leaders continue to be incarcerated on trumped up charges. Foreign journalists are prevented from reporting on the situation in IoK. The recent suspension of Al Jazeera is just a case in point,” he maintained.
The Spokesman said after the brutal murder of Shujaat Bokhari, Indian forces have arrested the Kashmiri journalist, Atif Aasif Sultan on trumped up charges exposing the truth behind Indian claims of being the so-called biggest democracy and its commitment to freedom of expression and the press.
“It is also unsurprising to see zero mention of the continued ceasefire violations by India across the LoC/WB which posed a serious threat to peace and stability in the region,” he added.
To a question about a recent statement by Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, while addressing a gathering in Calcutta, that the new government in Pakistan has opened a political window for India and filled India with certain hopes, the Spokesman said Pakistan had noted the statement of India High Commissioner.
“We are also saying since long that dialogue is the only way forward to settle all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India. We are officially waiting for a response from India on how they want to move forward,” he added.
The Spokesman said, “We have a consistent position on this. If you see the recent overtures, Prime Minister Modi called our Prime Minister and our Foreign Minister also received a letter from his Indian counterpart. We want to utilize the same window and see how we can move forward.”
To another question, he said, Secretary Pompeo’s visit to Islamabad last week was welcomed by Pakistan which offered an opportunity for both sides to have a very frank and candid conversation.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as been invited to Washington DC by the Secretary of State, he said and added the continuation of engagement at the leadership level was important to take the relationship forward.

Foreign Office Spokesman in response to a question said he could not comment on behalf of any country except Pakistan and its position was very clear. “We are ready for talks with India. We have also conveyed our position to the international community. It remains for India to respond,” he added.
To a question about the reported US announcement to cut-off Military Aid of US $300 million to Pakistan, the Spokesman clarified that it was not aid but reimbursements to be made to Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund, which had been discontinued.
“The US side has also clarified that it was not a new development and not linked to the visit of Secretary of State. Our position is consistent that CSF reimbursement cannot be equated with US assistance suspended earlier this year,” he added.
To a question about the reports that Bahrain was denying visas to Pakistani citizens, the Spokesman said, “We are in contact with Bahraini authorities through our Mission in Manama, as well as, through Embassy of Bahrain in Islamabad.”
“Bahrain has not frozen visa facility for Pakistanis. It has started greater scrutiny of visa applications, not only from Pakistan but also from other countries. We have taken up the matter with the government of Bahrain at the Foreign Minister’s level and have been assured of their cooperation,” he added.
To a question about the Commerce Minister’s interview, the Spokesman said, “I believe there is no affect on our relationship with China. I completely reject any insinuations against CPEC.”
In response to another question, he said, Pakistan has temporarily halted work of its Consulate General in Jalabad due to security concerns. “We are working with the Afghan government to resolve the issue. Till resumption of consular services at the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jalalabad students, patients and other visa seekers residing in the jurisdiction of Consulate General of Pakistan in Jalalabad may contact Pakistan Embassy in Kabul for issuance of visas,” he added.
He said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also had a telephonic conversation with his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani on the subject and urged the Afghan Government for restoring the previous security arrangements existing till August 28, 2018; so that the Consulate General’s normal functioning could be resumed at the earliest. The Afghan Foreign Minister had reassured a positive outcome in that regard, he added.
To a question, the Spokesman confirmed that the Turkish Foreign Minister would arrive in Pakistan on Thursday night and there would be delegation-level talks with his Pakistani counterpart. The Turkish Foreign Minister would also call on the Prime Minister, he added.
The Spokesman in response to a question about the reports of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia said, “Yes, the Prime Minister will visit Saudi Arabia. The details of the visit will be shared later.”
To a question about the US role in resolving Pakistan-India issues, he said, “Our position on India is very clear. We have been stating that we are ready for negotiations with India as issues between both countries can only be resolved through dialogue. Time will tell what kind of role the US can play in resolving the differences between Pakistan and India.”
To another question, the Spokesman said, “We support Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, which is the only way to resolve the Afghan issue.”
Earlier in his opening statement, the Spokesman mentioned that the Indian occupation forces during cordon and search operations had killed 14 Kashmiris including a science graduate, 32-year old Altaf Kachroo, Umar Rashid Wani, 22-year old Fayaz Ahmad Wani, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Hakim-ur-Rehman, Asif Nazir Dar, 18-year old Furkaan Rashid Lone, Liaqat Ahmad Lone and Abdul Ahad Ganaie in Islamabad, Pulwama, Bandipore, Srinagar and Kupwara districts.
“We denounce the use of brutal force by the Indian occupation forces against the Kashmiris. We condemn the gross human rights violations by the Indian occupation forces and the continued violent operations in Shopian, Pulwama, Islamabad, Kulgam, Kupwara, Bandipore, Baramulla and Srinagar districts of occupied Kashmir.”
He said the recent arrest of Kashmir-based journalist Aasif Sultan in Srinagar raised serious concerns about the deteriorating state of press freedom in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are also concerned about the deteriorating health of senior Hurriyet leaders including Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam Butt, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen and Fahmida Sofi, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Aiyaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Maulan Sarjan Barkati and hundreds of Hurriyet leaders and activists languishing in notorious Indian Tihar Jail in New Delhi  and other different jails and interrogations centres in occupied Kashmir.”
The Spokesman said the Acting Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office and the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces in Khanjar Sector along the Line of Control on September 10, 2018, resulting in the martyrdom of one innocent civilian Guftar Hussain, were unequivocally condemned.
“The Indian forces have carried out more than 2050 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the martyrdom of 33 innocent civilians, while injuring 122 others. This unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 ceasefire violations”, he said and added “I urge the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement and that the Indian side should permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.”