India trying to change Kashmir demographics: Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Foreign Office on Thursday said that Indian interference and subversive activities in Pakistan had been exposed.

Addressing a weekly media briefing, FO Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said the confession of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav was a strong proof of Indian involvement.

“Activities of Indian Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau, and IB operatives working at Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Chuck Hagel’s statement, PM (Narendra) Modi’s statement of August 15 and the one at Dhaka University, Ministers Ajit Doval and Manohar Parrikar statements of using Taliban (based in Afghanistan) against Pakistan and terror financing, are some of the references,” he said.

Zakaria said that Pakistan had earlier also taken up these issues with the UNSG and UNSC members and “we would raise it on all appropriate occasions.”

He said that the Indian interference in Pakistan was a clear violation of the provisions of UN Charter pertaining to the respect for the sovereignty of its members.

Zakaria said since Burhan Muzaffar Wani’s extra-judicial killing in July by the Indian occupation forces in Kashmir, India has been randomly arresting innocent Kashmiris using the draconian laws or lawless laws such as Public Safety Act.

“More than 10,000 Kashmiri youth have been arrested during the last 5 months and there is no news about them whether they have been tortured and sent to the similar ‘mass graves’ that were discovered in 2009. Pakistan is deeply concerned about the fate of those arrested Kashmiris,” the spokesman said.

He said that the international community must stop Indian brutalities and bloodshed of Kashmiris. “We call upon the UN, the Human Rights Watch, the Amnesty International, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other such organisations to call India to account for its blatant violations of human rights,” he said.

He said that reportedly, the Indian rulers had started issuing domicile certificates to non-Kashmiri Hindus in Jammu region. The move, he said, was part of the regime’s nefarious designs to change the demographic composition of the territory.

“This act of bringing material change in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir is a blatant violation of UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir. Kashmiris have hopes that international community and relevant international organisations will call India to the account,” he said.

The spokesman said that at an international European Kashmir conference in Denmark last month, representatives of 500 various political and social organisations and non-governmental organisations adopted Copenhagen Declaration called, inter alia, for the release of those arrested under lawless laws immediately and those who blinded Kashmiris using pellet guns be brought to book.

Regarding Indian Supreme Court’s controversial verdict on Kashmir, calling it an inviolable part of India, he said that the Kashmir issue was outstanding on the UN Security Council’s agenda.

“India as a state has been constantly violating UNSC resolutions on Kashmir by calling it as its integral part. India is also a violator of the UNSC resolutions on account of denying UNMOGIP access to Indian occupied Kashmir,” he said.

He said that Russia, Pakistan and China trilateral meeting will be held in Moscow on December 27 to discuss regional stability and issues.

“The Foreign Secretary (Aizaz Chaudhry) will lead the Pakistani delegation at this meeting. This is an existing forum for undertaking informal discussions on issues of regional peace and stability including the situation in Afghanistan,” he said.

Zakaria said that Pakistan supports peace and stability in Afghanistan which is in the interest of Pakistan and the entire region. “In this spirit, we remain committed and extend all cooperation to the efforts towards bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan has played a very positive role in bringing warring factions to the negotiating table. Whenever we are approached to help bring the warring factions to the negotiating table, we will assist,” he said.

Asked about US President-elect Donald Trump’s statement against Muslims and Israeli parliament’s recent legislations on Jews settlements in Palestine, he said that terrorists had no religion.

“It will be wrong to associate this phenomenon with any one religion. Importantly, Islam does not teach violence or terrorism. Numerous references to this are available, in the statements by various religious leaders across the world. Terrorism is a global phenomenon and people from various regions and nations have been perpetrating terrorism,” he elaborated.

Zakaria said since 1967, Israel had continued settlement construction and expansion in the West Bank including in East Jerusalem in defiance of its international law obligations. “This illegal activity has rendered the West Bank, including the East Jerusalem, increasingly fragmented,” he said.

He said that Pakistan strongly opposed the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, and condemns all illegal activities of the Israeli government, including settlements, the separation wall, excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa mosque and forceful eviction of Palestinians from their homes.

He said that there were 728 Pakistani nationals detained in various jails in the Western region of Saudi Arabia which fall under the consular jurisdiction of Jeddah Consulate.

“On an average, 150 to 175 overseas Pakistanis are facilitated in this regard per month,” Zakaria said.

He said that verification of demand and genuineness of visas issued by the employers in Saudi Arabia should be carried out by the relevant ministry and duly attested by welfare wing in Pakistan missions abroad.

On truck attack in Germany, Zakaria said: “I think in this regard there are reports that the Pakistani initially indicted for a terrible attack, was not involved in the incident and hence released. Our embassy is in touch with German authorities in this regard. What you are referring to is not something I can comment on. According to German sources, he was released”.

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif concluded a three-day productive visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Asked about Indian Coast Guards who reportedly entered Pakistani territorial waters, and arrested 26 Pakistani fishermen near Sir Creek, Zakaria said: “I am yet to get details on it. Once I have the requisite information from the relevant authorities, it will be shared.”