Pakistan continues to stand with Saudi Arabia in ongoing clash with human rights


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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed its solidarity with Saudi Arabia in the ongoing row between the kingdom and basic human rights.

During the weekly briefing on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal told reporters that Islamabad was following with “immense concern” the crisis between the two. He added that Pakistan has shown its solidarity with Riyadh in this regard.

“As you all know, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia last month, breaking his campaign promise of not undertaking a foreign trip in the first three months of his government” he said.

“Now he is about to embark on his second trip, breaking the promise again, and all so that Pakistan can express solidarity with Saudi Arabia.”

“This is not some beggin mission as so many are trying to make it out to be. This is a statement. A statement that no pesky human rights can try and come in between the brotherly love that our two countries share” he went on to add.

While the clash with human rights has existed for over 14 centuries, it recently resurfaced after the death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. The move sparked prompt action from Riyadh, which suspended engagement and expelled another batch of human rights from the KSA.

This is the second time in recent months that Pakistan has had to stand by Saudi Arabia against human rights, with the last time being in August, when Saudi Arabia came under deadly fire from human rights quarters when the issue of women’s rights came to light in the Kingdom.

“Pakistan always supports the sovereignty of states and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states,” the FO spokesperson stressed. “The only time we show flexibility is if interference is within our own borders, and sovereignty can be cashed in for a decent price.”

“Both these aspects are enshrined in the UN Charter – just like the human rights, which have been increasingly breaching international law by penetrating various countries that do not welcome them, in turn damaging the foundation of peace in those states,” he added.

“We fully agree with the statement of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation secretary general that Saudi Arabia enjoys immense respect especially among countries that have a similar standoff with human rights – which has a growing western lobby,” Faisal said.

“Islamabad stands by the kingdom in protecting its sovereignty not only as a matter of principle but also based on the transcript that was handed out to us,” he added.