- FO says KSA had given PM ‘very warm’ welcome, hosted iftar for him
- Regarding abduction, murder of Chinese nationals, FO says govt is in contact with Chinese authorities
Pakistan has welcomed Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s offer of mediation to resolve the ongoing tension between Islamabad and New Delhi, Radio Pakistan reported.
Islamabad’s reaction came during the weekly routine press briefing of Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in the capital on Thursday.
FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told the press that Pakistan had recently established high-level contact with Russia, adding that Pakistan welcomed Putin’s offer to ease tensions between the two countries.
The prime minister had met the Russian president in Kazakhstan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Kazakhstan earlier this month.
Putin had earlier dismissed Indian fears over growing Russia-Pakistan ties, saying that although Moscow enjoyed “deep cooperation” with India, the same could not preclude ties with other countries. “This is ridiculous,” Putin was reported to have said.
He had added that it was not for him to decide whether Pakistan was fuelling terrorism in India-held Kashmir—an allegation India has repeatedly made.
SAUDI KING HOSTED IFTAR FOR PM
Zakaria also discussed Saudi-Pak ties a day after media reports claimed the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz had asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “are you with us or with Qatar?”
Zakaria said the Kingdom had given the premier a ‘very warm’ welcome and hosted an iftar for him.
PM Nawaz and the Saudi king discussed the Middle East crisis, with the former assuring the latter of the protection of the two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia.
CHINESE NATIONALS’ MURDER NOT LINKED TO CPEC
Regarding the abduction and murder of Chinese nationals, the FO said the government is in contact with Chinese authorities “The government is taking the matter very seriously,” Zakaria said, adding that the abducted nationals had no link to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26 were abducted from Jinnah Town Quetta on May 24 and later murdered by the militant Islamic State group. They were suspected of illegal missionary work.
The Chinese government said it would work with Pakistani authorities to investigate reports that the two were missionaries. “We will cooperate with the Pakistan government and launch an investigation in accordance with the law,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
INDIAN FORCES BRUTALISE KASHMIRIS
Meanwhile, Zakaria said, following Pakistan’s June 14 triumph against England, reaching the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, Indian security forces beat Kashmiris brutally, broke into their shops and looted their goods for celebrating the much-needed win.
He pointed out that Indian troops had, so far, martyred over 25 Kashmiris and injured another over 200, using pellet guns in the disputed valley, in a complete disrespect for the month of Ramzan. Jamia Masjid was locked down and Kashmiris were not allowed to offer prayers last Friday, he added.
Zakaria said Kashmiri leaders were constantly harassed and meted out inhuman treatment, while India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were using dirty tactics to subvert and malign the indigenous movement of Kashmiris for self-determination.
He said that Kashmiris were concerned that India would undertake false flag operation or stage a new terror event for continuing military actions in Kashmir to justify killings of innocent Kashmiris.
Indian agencies, in collaboration with terrorist groups such as RSS and Abhinav Bharat, have staged terrorist attacks and blamed them on others as an excuse to justify the use of force in Kashmir, Zakaria said.
Zakaria also criticised the Indian government’s move to create hurdles for Sikh pilgrims who wished to attend the Jor festival in Pakistan.
Despite possessing Pakistani visas, many pilgrims were prevented from crossing the border and only a handful could attend their religious festivities, he said.