Opening Remarks by Spokesperson at the Press Briefing on Thursday,09 August 2018.

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We start with a round-up of the recent events on the foreign policy front:

As a result of the brutal use of force by the Indian occupation forces during last week, 12 innocent Kashmiris embraced shahadat, which include; Bilal Ahmad Shah, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Riyaz Ahmed Dar and Engineer Khursheed Ahmad Malik, Umar Nazir Malik, Arshad Ahmad Khan, Aijaz Ahmad Paul, Waqar Ahmed Sheikh, Arif Ahamd Mir, Bilal Ahmad Khan, Syeed Murfad Shah, Mohammad Rafiq Gujjar in Kupwara, Sopore, Shopian, Jammu and Ramban areas. We strongly condemn the illegal detention and shifting of Kashmiri women including Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen and Fahmida Sofi from Mandoli Jail to notorious Tihar Jail in New Delhi. We also express our deep concerns over the health condition of political prisoners including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Masara tAlam Butt, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Aiyaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori and hundreds of Hurriyat leaders and activists in different jails and interrogation centers.

The Hurriyat leadership remains incarcerated while their offices are raided regularly on trumped up charges in an attempt to intimidate them. Political prisoners under PSA are being shifted to prisons outside IOK to exert additional psychological pressure on the families and to keep them away from scrutiny.

Journalists, especially foreign journalists are arbitrarily prevented access to IOK, to stop them from witnessing the rapidly deteriorating situation on ground. This is a desperate attempt to cover the truth about the humanitarian emergency and barbaric human rights violations being committed by Indian occupation forces.

Despite rampant Indian state terrorism, Kashmiris in IOK observed a complete strike against Indian attempts to abrogate Article 35-A aimed at changing the demography of IOK to preempt the outcome of any future plebiscite. Underhanded Indian nefarious designs of this nature are a complete violation of the numerous UNSC Resolutions and international law.
 

On August 02, 2018 the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control on 2nd August in Mandal Sector, resulting in the shahadat   of one innocent civilian (Mrs. Nusrat Bibi w/o Mr. Shakeel, age 35 years) in Ghasla village. The Indian forces along the Line of Control and the Working boundary are continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons. So far in 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 1400 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the shahadats of 30 innocent civilians, while injuring 121 others. The deliberate targeting of civilian population is deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. India should respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement and permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

As you know that the SAI Guangzhou-Lahore flight, which was scheduled to depart on 29 July 2018, was delayed and canceled due to technical problems. Around 260 passengers were stranded at the airport. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Embassy in Beijing and Consulate General in Guangzhou played an active role in their expeditious return to Pakistan. Throughout, our Consulate remained in touch with the passengers, Shaheen Air International and Civil Aviation Authorities of Pakistan and China to ensure their smooth stay and return. Around 214 passengers, who opted for return to Pakistan, have safely reached Pakistan via a special flight of Shaheen International Airlines. The Foreign Secretary, personally monitored the situation and liaised with the government departments for resolving the crisis. Upon arrival the passengers, appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Consulate Guangzhou and Pakistan Embassy Beijing.

In a special humanitarian gesture, Pakistan opened the Munabao Khokrapar  border to allow repatriation of an Indian lady Ms. Reshma who passed away while visiting Pakistan. She was scheduled to return to India on July 28 but she fell ill, eventually passing away on July 25. Her family then wanted to bury her in her hometown in Rajasthan, but missed the weekly Thar express.  The Indian MLA Mr. Mavendera Singh has written to the Foreign Secretary to thank Pakistan for the compassionate gesture.

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