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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office said Friday that Pakistan wants to establish peaceful and friendly relations with all its neighbouring countries, including India and regretted that New Delhi was not willing to prepare a conducive environment for a meaningful dialogue.

Speaking at his weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that Pakistan is committed to have a meaningful, constructive, and a result-oriented dialogue with India. “But the onus is on India to take necessary steps to create an enabling environment for the talks,” he added.

He said that relations between Pakistan and India are not good since the unilateral and illegal actions taken by the Indian regime on August 5, 2019 in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

To a question about continued oppression against Kashmiris by the Indian forces in the occupied valley, he said that the international community needs to do more in checking atrocities against the innocent people of Kashmir.

About the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that the CPEC, which has continued to move forward as a flagship of the Belt and Road despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Starting from the first visit of the prime minister to China in November 2018, he added that the CPEC has focused increasingly on socio-economic development projects geared towards directly improving the well-being of our people. He stated that 27 projects have been conceived and are under various stages of implementation and preparation. “We have also expanded CPEC’s ambit by including agriculture, science and technology and IT cooperation,” he added.

He further stated that work on major infrastructure projects has continued apace and a number of new mega projects have been endorsed by the JCC of the CPEC. These include the Azad Pattan and Kohala hydropower projects, which will help address Pakistan’s food security, while also ensuring access to green and cost-competitive energy for our industrial growth, he added.

About the Indian wheat as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the spokesperson said that Pakistan has allowed the transportation of the Indian wheat on humanitarian grounds on exceptional basis.

“We have conveyed to the India side, necessary details of arrangements put in place by Pakistan, and for about three weeks now, are awaiting further response from India of the date of dispatch and other information regarding the first consignment,” he added.

To another query about National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf’s expected visit to Kabul, the spokesperson said that the visit has been postponed due to weather condition in Afghanistan.

Referring to the situation in Kashmir, he said that the Kashmiris in the IIOJK and around the world joined by Pakistanis and others marked the grim anniversary of the “Gaw Kadal” massacre on Friday.

On 21 January 1990, he added that Indian occupation forces had brutally martyred at least 52 innocent and peaceful protesters in occupied Srinagar for demanding freedom from Indian oppression.

“Pakistan stands in solidarity with the victims of this unspeakable crime and reiterates the call for bringing the perpetrators to justice. It is appalling as it is condemnable that even after more than three decades, there is no accountability for this cold-blooded killing,” he added.

He added that for past more than seven decades, Kashmiris are the victims of India’s state-sponsored terrorism, including gross and systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, which have further intensified under the BJP-RSS combine’s “Hindu Rashtra” project, under which sinister anti-Kashmiri policies are also being pursued to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory.

“Let India also be reminded that its reign of terror and oppression can never weaken the resolve of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination,” he said, adding that Pakistan will continue to extend all possible support to our valiant brothers and sisters in Kashmir for the rightful pursuit of their legitimate struggle.

Answering a query regarding return of Pakistani students to China, he said that Pakistani authorities are taking up this issue with the relevant Chinese quarters, so that Pakistani students can go back to China to pursue their education.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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