Let me begin by giving a brief roundup of activities on the foreign policy front:
This week marks the 2nd death anniversary of Kashmiri leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who was brutally martyred by Indian occupation forces on 8 July 2016, marking another dark chapter in the lives of defenceless Kashmiris of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir. His struggle symbolised that of every Kashmiri, who is fighting the inhumane and treacherous Indian rule in IoK everyday for their just right to self-determination, which is enshrined in the relevant UNSC Resolutions and calls for a UN-mandated plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir.
The OHCHR Report on Kashmir is a reflection of Pakistan’s repeated calls to the International Community to take stock of India’s brutal use of pellet guns, indiscriminate firing, use of human shield and promulgation of draconian AFPSA and SPA laws that are making lives of Kashmiris in IoK a living hell.
Also, in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir, brutal killing and maiming of innocent civilians continued with impunity. The Indian occupation forces killed 08 Kashmiris last week, including teenagers Andleeb Jan (13 yrs old), 11th grade student Ubaid Manzoor Lone, 10th grade student Tamsheel Ahmad Khan, Shakir Ahmad Khanday (19 yr old), Irshad Ahmad Lone (22 yr old) and Sameer Ahmad Sheikh in Kulgam, Shopian, Sopore and Kupwara areas. While inhumane killing of Kashmiri youth continues unabated, Indian occupation forces also injured over 170 innocent civilians during last week with use of brute force including bullets, pellets and teargas shells.
A matter of grave concern is the shifting of aged female resistance leader SyedaAasiyaAndrabi, as well as Nahida Nasreen and Fehmeeda Sofi to India’s infamous Tihar jail, wherein other detained political leaders like Shabbir Ahmad Shah, MasarratAlam Bhat and others are already languishing in inhumane conditions with acute danger to their health and wellbeing.
We condemn these brutal human rights violations of Indian occupation forces in the strongest possible terms. These are but a small reflection of the gravest excesses India is carrying out in the Valley, which tower even the blackest of human tragedies in world history. The UN Report is a vindication of the brutalities and atrocities India is committing in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir since decades. We call upon the international community to take cognizance of the human rights situation in IoK as well as the OHCHR Report, and immediately call India to account to stop the bloodshed and give the Kashmiris their just right to self-determination through a UN-mandated plebiscite.
Separately, in a major scientific breakthrough, on 9 July, Pakistan launched the Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) by LM-2C/SMA launch vehicle from Jiuquan Satellite Center, China. The 1,200 kg satellite PRSS-1 will operate at an altitude of 640 km. The satellite will enable Pakistan to meet its imagery requirements in the areas of land mapping, agriculture classification and assessment, urban and rural planning, environmental monitoring, natural disaster management and water resource management for socio-economic development of the country.
Another flagship satellite, Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A) indigenously designed and developed by SUPARCO’s engineers, has also been co-launched with PRSS-1 by the same launch vehicle. PakTES-1A is a 285 kg satellite equipped with an optical payload commensurate with national needs. It has a design life of three years and will operate at an altitude of 610 km.
The successful implementation of PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A projects has further strengthened the space cooperation between Pakistan and China for future collaborations. The President and Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan have congratulated the nation on this historic event and appreciated SUPARCO’s scientists and engineers for their technical excellence and untiring efforts. The Prime Minister has assured the nation and SUPARCO of complete support for further advancement in space technology, so vital for socio-economic development and national security of Pakistan. Our scientists and engineers are the source of pride for the nation and the country.
Moreover, the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contribute in the fund for the construction of “Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dam 2018”. All officers of the Ministry will contribute their three days pay, whereas all staff members one day pay in this fund. This humble contribution is an effort to contribute towards a national cause.
Mr. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France paid a courtesy call on the Foreign Minister on 10 July 2018. He was in Islamabad to lead the 13th Round of Pakistan-France Bilateral Political Consultations. The two sidesexpressed satisfaction at the growing bilateral relations in all fields of mutual interest and agreed to further enhance ties in political, trade and economic, defence and security, science and technological, educational and cultural spheres as well in the context of the European Union.
The Foreign Minister informed the French Secretary General on Pakistan’s achievements in the field of democracy trade, economy, business, law and order and security environment. He also highlighted our efforts aimed at securing peace and stability in the region and neighborhood. The FrenchSecretary General expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts in combating the twin menace of terrorism and extremism and stressed the need for a coordinated international response in this regard.
The Secretary General Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France also met Foreign Secretary,Tehmina Janjua.Both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and identified opportunities for further cooperation in political, economic, trade, investment, defence, education and cultural fields. They also expressed satisfaction at the growing cooperation in the context of the European Union. The Foreign Secretary provided an overview of progress made by Pakistan in strengthening democracy, political stability and improved law and order situation in the country. The achievements in the fight against terrorism and implementation of the National Action Plan were also highlighted. The two sides exchanged views on important global and regional issues of mutual interest.
The French side also highlighted challenges confronting France and the European Union, including migration. The Foreign Secretary briefed the French delegation on Pakistan-India relations and expressed grave concern at continued human rights violations in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which has been verified in recent report by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.
The Second Round of Policy Planning Dialogue between Pakistan and Indonesia was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Indonesian Delegation was led by Dr. ArifiSaiman Head for Center of Policy Analysis and Development of Asia-Pacific and African Region from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jakarta, while the Pakistan side was led by Additional Secretary Asia Pacific Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad. The two sides exchanged views on political, security and economic policy areas of mutual interest. Unanimity of views was found on major regional and global issues.