Pakistan shows concerns over fall-out in Middle East

  • FO says Pakistan believes in unity among Muslims
  • India seeks conflict with Pakistan, violates ceasefire

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria has said that Pakistan believes in the unity among the Muslim countries, after Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations in the Middle Eastern region took the unexpected step of cutting off relations to Qatar, a tiny kingdom, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

During the weekly media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Office, he told a questioner that Pakistan has already made serious efforts in this regard. “We are very much concerned about the current situation in the Middle East,” he said. On Monday, the Saudis accused Qatar of supporting Iran-backed ‘terrorist activities’ in the country’s east, as well as in Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed all diplomatic ties, followed by the internationally recognised governments of Yemen and Libya, the Maldives and Mauritania. The crisis has only escalated since and could have manifold economic and political effects for the Middle East – as well as alter the course of the region’s many conflicts.

To another question, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that Pakistan and Afghanistan need close coordination with each for overcoming the scourge of terrorism from the region. “India is promoting state-sponsored terrorism in Afghanistan to sabotage Pak-Afghan bilateral relations,” he pointed out.

He said that Afghanistan has been in turmoil for over forty years, and this situation has given space to terrorists. “Afghan people have suffered a lot due to terrorism so have we,” he added. The unstable Afghanistan has affected Pakistan more than any other country, he said, adding that Pakistan believes in Afghan-owned and the Afghan-led peace process.

Zakaria said that Kabul peace process was a positive step in this regard. To a question regarding the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit commenced in Astana in which Pakistan will become its full member, he said all the member countries have to play an important role in this summit for regional peace and peaceful solutions to regional issues.

He informed the journalists said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was in Astana for this historic occasion. In the briefing, he said that the Indian forces were continuously engaged in cross-Line of Control violation in Jammu Kashmir region and the working boundary. He said India was seeking conflict with Pakistan.

During the last one week, nine Kashmiri people have been martyred and around 40 were arrested and an equal number of people were injured including half dozen with pellets at the hands of the Indian forces in the disputed territory, he shared the data with the media.

“We strongly condemn Indian blatant killings and human rights violations in the disputed state,” he said. On the call of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, Kashmiris will be observing peaceful protests across the state on Friday against the brutal killing of Kashmiri students.

The spokesperson said that the resolve of the Kashmiri people could not be deterred despite the deployment of the largest military presence in the disputed state, where the forces have unleashed a reign of terror and torture for the past seven decades inflicting untold miseries upon Kashmiris.

He said that the Pakistan government calls upon the UN Security Council, members of UN and human rights organisations across the globe to call India to account for the grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity committed by its forces in the Kashmiri state.

“We have strongly taken up the issue of grave human rights violations in the disputed state at the Council of Human Rights in Geneva at the 35th session,” he said.