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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, on Friday, reaffirmed its strong commitment to the protection of workers and projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and vowed to defeat designs of any terrorist entity against investment projects in the country.

Speaking at her weekly media briefing in response to journalists’ questions, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch stated in categorical terms that Pakistan will defeat designs of any terrorist outfit against the projects under CPEC or any other investment project in the country. “Pakistan is strongly committed to (the) protection of workers and projects under the CPEC,” she said.

To a question, the spokesperson reiterated Pakistan’s demand from the Afghan interim government to take immediate and effective steps against terrorist entities operating from its soil and involved in terrorism in the country.

Stakeholders asked to expedite CPEC projects

Baloch voiced concerns over the presence of terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan, adding that these terrorists continue to attack Pakistan and cause loss of life. “Pakistan desires to have peaceful and friendly relations with Afghanistan. We have great sympathies with our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan who have suffered a great deal because of difficult humanitarian and security situation,” she said.

She further stated that Pakistan has advocated internationally that humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan must continue.

To another query about the US Justice Department’s announcement of charges against a man accused of orchestrating for the Indian government an attempted assassination of a Sikh leader in the US, she said that these revelations are the latest in a series of such reports that confirm the existence of a global network of Indian intelligence that is involved in espionage and extra-territorial killings.

She said that the network has been engaged in assassinations and abductions in South Asia for decades and Pakistan has remained a target of India’s state-sponsored terrorism, subversion, and espionage.

“We have been inviting international attention to these activities of Indian intelligence services. Last year, Pakistan released a dossier with credible information on Indian involvement in the Lahore attack. We condemn these acts and believe that India’s irresponsible and reckless conduct is a clear violation of international law and the UN principle of state sovereignty,” she added.

Expressing concerns over the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, she urged India to repeal its draconian laws and stop using the bogey of terrorism to suppress dissent in the occupied territory.

She said that reports suggest that a few days ago, seven Kashmiri students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology in Ganderbal district were arrested for celebrating Australia’s victory over India in the final match of the Cricket World Cup.

Their arrest has taken place under India’s infamous anti-terrorism law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. “It is shocking that cheering a cricket team during a world cup, of which India was the host, is considered an act of terrorism in India,” she said, adding that the development is a clear manifestation of India’s misuse of counter-terrorism laws and its erroneous and vicious application of terrorism charges.

Referring to the situation in Gaza, she said that Pakistan is disappointed that after a brief pause, Israel has restarted bombing the Palestinian people. “The temporary pause offered a crucial respite to the suffering people of Gaza and allowed exchange of prisoners.

Pakistan reiterates its call for a durable and sustained ceasefire to enable supply of extensive and robust humanitarian assistance; urgent medical aid to the injured; and shelter to those who have been displaced as a result of indiscriminate and inhumane bombing campaign by Israeli occupation forces,“ she added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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