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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan made a strong démarche to India over the rapidly deteriorating health condition of Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik and handed over a letter from the wife of the Hurriyat leader addressed to the Indian prime minister.

“The Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) in Islamabad was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today and a strong demarche was made over the rapidly deteriorating health condition of Hurriyat leader Muhammad Yasin Malik,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar on Friday.

He said that a letter addressed to the Indian prime minister from Mushaal Hussein Mullick, wife of Yasin Malik, seeking her husband’s immediate release from prison in view of his precarious health condition that aggravated after his decision to go on a hunger strike earlier this month, was also handed over to the Cd’A.

He stated that the Indian diplomat was conveyed Pakistan’s deep dismay on the Indian authorities’ latest move of implicating Yasin Malik in two more bogus cases crafted around incidents that happened at least three decades ago.

Despite numerous pleas, the spokesperson added that Yasin Malik has been denied his lawful right of personal appearance and cross-examination in the ongoing trials.

Yasin Malik, who is serving-out life-imprisonment in the infamous Delhi’s Tihar jail after a sham trial by an Indian court has been deeply dejected at this gross miscarriage of justice. Having no legal recourse at his disposal, Yasin Malik went on a hunger strike unto death on July 22, 2022.

The spokesperson added that it was noted that long-drawn illegal incarcerations, implication in fictitious cases, inhuman torture at the hands of the Indian occupation forces and worst forms of political victimisation, have already had a cumulative grave impact on the physical, mental and emotional well-being of Yasin Malik. Alarmingly, the ongoing hunger strike has made the situation so grievous that owing to an acute threat to his life, he has now been put on intravenous fluids, he added.

“Given the urgency of the situation and keeping in view Yasin Malik’s sharply deteriorating health indicators, the government of India has been strongly urged to provide him urgent medical care, immediately release him from the prison, cancel his fallacious conviction under fictitious charges and withdraw all other fabricated cases that have been mischievously spun around him,” the spokesperson added.

Speaking at his weekly media briefing, the spokesperson stated that Pakistan remains deeply concerned over the deteriorating health of Yasin Malik who continues to suffer for his legitimate political resistance to India’s illegal occupation of IIOJK. “We reject this judicial persecution and demand his immediate release,” he stated.

He added that the inhuman incarceration of Yasin Malik, his sham trials under fabricated cases, the fallacious conviction and the malfeasant attempts at tarnishing the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination only further confirm India’s known credentials as a serial violator of human rights and usurper of fundamental freedoms of the Kashmiri people.

“Pakistan calls upon the Indian government to refrain from victimizing the true representatives of the Kashmiri people by way of inhuman and illegal detentions and implications through sham trials in baseless and fictitious cases,” he stated.

He also urged the international community to take cognizance of India’s inhuman and illegal detention and treatment of Yasin Malik and of other political leaders and to ensure that the Kashmiri people can exercise their right to self-determination as promised to them by the UN and the international community.

To a question about the economic situation, he said that no doubt there is an economic situation that we are facing, and not only Pakistan, many countries around the world are faced with economic difficulties for various reasons, Covid-related and other factors.

He also referred to the steps that successive governments have been undertaking to address the challenges including various policy measures, adding that the IMF package is also part of that effort, besides the friendly countries who have also extended invaluable support.

Regarding the floods, he said that this is an unfortunate situation and a lot of attention is being paid to the matter, led by the prime minister himself. He said that directives have been issued to provide all possible assistance and to take all possible actions to tackle the situation.

Asked whether India has released any amount of flood water to Pakistan, he stated that the release of water under these circumstances has been a recurrent problem in the past. “I think we will have to check, as what you are referring to is very recent, so need to check with our Indus Waters Commission whether such decision to release water or the flood data was shared by the Indian side in a timely manner or not,” he responded to a query.

Asked whether Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa during a telephonic conversation with the US Deputy Secretary of State, discussed the release of the IMF tranche, he said that the conversation has taken place, but expressed his inability to share the content of the discussion. “I understand the conversation has taken place, but at this stage, I am not in direct knowledge of the content of this discussion,” he added.

To another query about the recent visit of an ulema delegation from Pakistan to Afghanistan for holding talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), he said that the Ulema of Pakistan and Afghanistan have longstanding relations due to “our shared history, religion, geography, culture and people-to-people contacts.”

In this context, he added that a delegation of Pakistani Ulema led by Allama Taqi Usmani and including many leading scholars was visiting Afghanistan.

“They had meetings with the Interim Prime Minister of Afghanistan, cabinet members and leading Ulema from Afghanistan. They discussed strengthening peace and stability and good relations between the two countries. I understand this was a very good visit, and well received in Afghanistan, as is evident from the kind of interactions and meetings that have taken place. So I would say that this has resulted in very positive engagement between the two sides,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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