ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday slammed the gross human rights violations in Held Kashmir by Indian forces.

Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said India was ignoring calls of international bodies against ‘grave human rights violations’ in Held Kashmir.

He said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s contact group on Kashmir on the sidelines of the ongoing 13th OIC summit in Istanbul had expressed continued support to the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination.

In his weekly media briefing here, Zakaria said the contact group comprising Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey also stressed upon the resolution of Kashmir issue in accordance with the resolutions of UN Security Council.

The spokesman said Pakistani authorities had arrested several suspects following detention of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav in Balochistan. He said investigation was underway to find out more facts.

He said Indian spy Kirpal Singh who was languishing in Kot Lakhpat Jail for nearly 25 years had died of natural causes.

Zakariya said Kirpal suffered a heart attack and he was immediately rushed to the intensive care unit of Jinnah Hospital but could not survive.

“Every incident should not be viewed with suspicion. Indian High Commission has been informed regarding the inmate’s death. Arrangements are being made to return his body to India,” he added.

Asked if there were any signs of torture in Kirpal’s death, he said, “The inmates of the jail near to Kirpal stated that he complained about pain in his chest and died instantly.”

Zakaria said Pakistan’s nuclear capability was for self-defence and it was ready to discuss arms control and restraint measures with India.

“Pakistan’s conventional, military and nuclear capability is solely for self-defence and we are committed to credible minimum deterrence,” he replied to a question on India about acquiring predators for surveillance.

The spokesman said there was an increased understanding at the international level of Pakistan’s genuine concern regarding rapidly growing Indian conventional and nuclear capabilities, and their offensives and military doctrines such as cold start.

He said Pakistan being a peace-loving nation was opposed to conventional or nuclear arms race in the region and maintenance of peace and stability in South Asia was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s policy.

“We took note of President Obama’s call on both Pakistan and India to work together with a view to ensure that their military doctrines do not move in the wrong direction,” he said.

The spokesman said Pakistan’s proposal for strategic regime could provide a basis for mutually agreed restraint measures and avoidance of unnecessary arms race in the region.

The spokesman stressed that the limited resources of Pakistan and India should be channeled to meeting the social needs of their people.

The FO spokesman maintained that dialogue is the best option between Pakistan and India and the two sides should not think in terms of "foreclosing any options".

About the status of secretary-level talks, the spokesman said the two sides were in touch with each other and modalities were being worked out.

He recalled that decision on holding of talks was taken during the surprise visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Pakistan in last December on his way back from Afghanistan.

The spokesman said the investigations by Joint Investigation Team on Pathankot incident were underway. He mentioned that the visit of Pakistani JIT to India on March 27 was in the context of the cooperative approach being pursued by the Pakistan as part of its commitment to effectively fight terrorism.

To a question, he said Pakistan and Iran were exploring opportunities to promote bilateral relations in diverse fields. The spokesman also pushed the Afghan Taliban to join peace negotiations. "It is in the interest of all groups in Afghanistan to participate in the process as this is the best hope to bring peace in Afghanistan and the entire region," he said.

"We believe that a politically negotiated settlement is the best option for bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan," Zikriya said.

He reiterated that Pakistan had higher stakes in Afghanistan peace than any other country and that Islamabad was "determined and serious in ensuring that peace returns to Afghanistan because it is not only in our interest but also the entire region".

On the prospects of next meeting of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) on Afghanistan, the spokesman said the four countries including Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and the United States had agreed for the earliest and mutually convenient dates for the meeting.

Asked about the recent visit of US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Olson to Pakistan, he said during his meeting with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, the regional situation and QCG meeting came under discussion.

He said Pakistan believed the politically-negotiated process was the best solution for Afghan peace and had been making serious efforts in this regard.

Issuing a travel advisory for Pakistani citizens, the spokesman asked Pakistanis to avoid visiting Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen in view of the ongoing security situation.

He mentioned that out of 45 Pakistanis stranded in China due to land-sliding, nine had been repatriated.