Pakistan on Thursday reiterated that a stable Afghanistan was in its best interest as it desired long-lasting bilateral relationship with the neighbouring country and supported all efforts for restoring peace there.

Addressing a weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria condemned the terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, saying Pakistan was deeply saddened by the loss of precious human lives in them.

He said the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, among the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional issues was discussed during the talks with a United States delegation led by acting Under Secretary of State and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) Alice Wells, which called on Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

Replying to a question, he said the issue of Indian-held Kashmir was also discussed with the US acting secretary of state. The spokesperson said human rights situation in Held Kashmir had been worsening with every passing day due to ever increasing atrocities by the Indian forces with impunity.

“The Indian occupation forces martyred eight Kashmiris in last six days, including Shariq Ahmed Sheikh (25), Shabbir Ahmad Mir (24), Ghulam Mohammad Shah (55), Firdous Ahmad Khan (30), Arif Nabi Dar (24) and Akeel Ahmad Butt (22) in Pulwama, Kupwara and Baramulla districts,” he added.

He said over 110, mostly young boys and some over 70 years of age, were injured as Indian forces used excessive brute force, bullets, pellets and teargas shells on defenceless Kashmiris during peaceful protests in Held Kashmir. A boy had been completely blinded due to the use of pellet guns, he added.

“The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns Indian brutal killing and use of brute force against peaceful Kashmiri protesters in Indian-held Kashmir,” he said.

The spokesman said the international community, particularly the United Nations (UN), must take necessary action to address the issue of Kashmir, including the illegal detention of Hurriyat leaders under the Public Safety Act, who along with people of Kashmir had been denied offering Juma (Friday) prayers for fifth consecutive Friday.

He said the government and the people of Pakistan remained committed to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to their oppressed brothers and sisters in the held Kashmir in their just struggle against illegal Indian occupation.

Replying to another question, he said Pakistan had suffered a lot due to terrorism and had been playing a significant role in the war against terrorism. “India needs to introspect its policies in Kashmir and in regional relations instead of accusing Pakistan of something they are unable to provide evidence for,” he said.

He said the stubborn attitude of incumbent Indian government had also affected the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which was responsible for the development and mutual cooperation of between the regional countries.

Answering a query regarding water talks between India and Pakistan, he said the meetings earlier this week were held in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation. The parties had agreed to continue discussions and reconvene the meeting in September in Washington.

He said by using Article 35-A of Indian constitution that bars outsiders from buying land in Held Kashmir, New Delhi was trying to change the demography of Kashmir, which was a clear violation of United Nation Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.