India has turned Kashmir into world’s largest prison, said Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal. More than 900,000 troops have been deployed and more than 14 million people have been trapped in their homes, he said.
“We can’t imagine the trauma they must going through,” he said while addressing a press briefing on Thursday. There is a looming humanitarian crisis as they are facing a food shortage and have been denied basic facilities, he remarked. “The international community needs to take cognizable notice of this,” he said.
“Pakistan will continue its diplomatic and moral support for the legitimate Kashmir struggle for the realisation of its right to self-determination,” said Dr Faisal.
He said that the foreign secretary had summoned Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and presented him a protest letter over the atrocities in the Indian-Administered Kashmir. Pakistan raised its concerns over the pre-meditative steps taken by India, such as a complete lockdown of the area, deployment of additional 180,000 soldiers, house arrests of leaders, and suspension of cellular services. “This is a breach of international laws and the foreign secretary condemned these actions.
“Twelve Kashmiris have been killed in Indian-Administered Kashmir since my last press conference,” he said. Hundreds of people have been injured and more deaths are feared, he said. “Since the cellular services have been suspended, we don’t know about the exact situation there.”
Pakistan categorically rejects the Indian contention that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India, said the spokesperson. “It remains on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council and is a disputed territory.” A final decision over it can be made under a UN-administered plebiscite, he added.
When he opened the floor for questions, journalists asked him about the fate of the Kartarpur corridor project and Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. Some asked him about the airspace closure, the release of Hafiz Saeed, and the visit of United States Assistant Secretary for South Asia Alice Wells to Pakistan. Here is his response to these questions:
The Kartarpur Corridor project will continue. Pakistan respects all religions and it will go ahead with the project.
India and Pakistan had agreed to construct the corridor to give Sikh pilgrims from India easy access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, which is located in Narowal’s Kartarpur. The present gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak died on September 22, 1539. On November 28, 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation of the Kartarpur Corridor.
Alice Wells was received by the foreign secretary on her arrival to Pakistan. We have discussed the situation in Kashmir with the US delegation, along with Pakistan-US ties, the Afghan reconciliation process and implementation of the National Action Plan.
Wells arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday. The delegation is also expected to provide technical assistance to Pakistan in order to save it from entering into the Financial Action Task Force’s blacklist.
There is no update on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. We will inform you if there is any development.
Former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016, and the case stoked tensions between the two countries. India took the case to the International Court of Justice where judges ruled that Pakistan had breached the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad. It asked Pakistan to review Jadhav’s death sentence.
The news of the release of Hafiz Saeed is fake. He has not been released.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was arrested on July 17 while he was travelling from Lahore to Gujranwala for a bail hearing in a terror-financing case. India and Washington have accused Saeed of being the mastermind of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. The arrest was lauded by US President Donald Trump.
Pakistani airspace has not been closed.
News has been circulating that Pakistani airspace has been closed once again. On July 16, Pakistan reopened its airspace for all civil traffic, including Indian flights, nearly five months after it was closed following escalating tensions with neighbouring India in February.