ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed the Afghan peace with President Ashraf Ghani during his recent visit to Kabul, the Foreign Office said yesterday.

Speaking at a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Afghanistan along with the Inter-Services Intelligence chief and Special Representative for Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq and met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul.

General Bajwa also met senior Afghan leader Abdullah Abdullah.  “General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Afghanistan on 9th June 2020. During the visit, he met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. The two sides discussed the latest status of Afghan peace process. The two sides also agreed to a dignified and time-bound return of Afghan refugees,” she said.

She added: “President Ashraf Ghani thanked Pakistan for opening of Torkham and Chaman border to allow Afghan transit goods and facilitate Afghan nationals who wished to return to their country.”

Aisha Farooqui said that after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan-Afghanistan border was sealed.  “At the request of the Afghan government and on humanitarian considerations, Pakistan re-opened its border with

Afghanistan to facilitate trade. At present, both Torkham and Chaman border crossing points are open for trade with Afghanistan. Pakistan looks forward to the early resumption of normal bilateral trade that would facilitate traders on both sides,” she maintained.

General Bajwa, she said, discussed a host of bilateral issues during the discussion.

Aisha Farooqui said that the Indian election to non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council has raised a fundamental question as a country with the credential of being consistent violator of the Security Council’s resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir must be held accountable rather than facilitated.

“We congratulate the Ireland, Norway and Mexico on their election to Security Council. The election of India, however, raises fundamental question. The Indian actions in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and beyond are the fundamental negation of the purposes and principles of the UN charter. India is a consistent violator of UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” she said.

The spokesperson said that a country with such credentials must be held accountable. “India must be asked to abide by the resolution of the UN Security Council,” she added.

She said the UN Charter had entrusted the UNSC with the primary responsibility for maintenance of international peace and security. The charter stipulates that in discharging this responsibility on behalf of the member states, the Council shall act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN. “This is the touchstone for the Council’s credibility and legitimacy.”

Contrarily, she said, India stood in flagrant violations of several resolution of the UNSC that prescribed the UN supervised plebiscites to enable the people of IOJK to exercise their fundamental right to self determination.

She said India’s gross and systemic violations of the human rights in IOJK had been extensively documented by international human rights and humanitarian organizations as well as the Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights in its reports.

“India has incarcerated eight million Kashmiris including top Kashmiri leader with 900,000 occupation troops. The people of the IOJK have been suffering under inhuman lockdown and military siege for over 10 months following India’s illegal and unilateral action of August 5, 2019,” she remarked.

The spokesperson said that despite ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the region had been turned into large prison and India had persistently defied the requests to allow international monitors to the IOJK.

She said while the world was grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic, India was busy unabashedly advancing the RSS-BJP inspired extremist Hindutva ideology with the perpetuated human rights violations against minorities in India particularly the Muslims.

She said that the imposition of discriminatory citizenship amendment act, initiation of national register of citizenship process, targeted killings of Muslims and repeated pogroms in Mumbai in 1993, Gujarat in 2002 and New Delhi in February 2020 were the various facets of this phenomenon.

She said that India had routinely used aggression seeking to coerce its neighbours and had employed terrorism at one time or another as state policy to destabilize every neighbouring state.

“India’s so-called 5S approach in the UN Security Council is only a smoke screen to mask the arrogant, belligerent and confrontational side of India. Perhaps India will do well to consider another S that is Satya or truth – the truth of Indian oppression, aggression and occupation of Jummu and Kashmir which cannot be covered up by false espousals,” she remarked.

The spokesperson said Pakistan would continue working with the rest of the members of the Security Council in advancing the objectives of international peace and security in South Asia and beyond.

Aisha Farooqui said the annual sessions of National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference collectively called the ‘Two Sessions’, were important national events in China’s political system.

“Pakistan’s position on Hong Kong is consistent and clear. Pakistan adheres to One-China policy. Hong Kong is a part of China and it is important for China to safeguard its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and protect the lives of its citizens,” she said.

The spokesperson added: “We reaffirm that matters related to Hong Kong are China’s internal affairs. We believe it is important to uphold international law and adhere to the basic norm of non-interference.”

About the China-India tension, she said, Pakistan had noted the reports of renewed clashes at China-India border areas. “We believe that the clashes happened as China was negotiating with India to resolve the conflict peacefully and through agreed mechanisms. India’s belligerent policies and actions seeking to unilaterally change borders with neighbours continue to pose a threat to peace and security of the region and undermine the efforts aimed at promoting stability and development in the region,” she said.

Aisha Farooqui said the two officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Dwimu Brahma and Selvadas Paul, were over-speeding and crashed their car into a pedestrian on 15 June 2020.

“The pedestrian was seriously injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. The officials attempted to flee from the scene; however, some passersby who witnessed the incident stopped them from fleeing and informed the Police. The police rushed to the scene and took the officials to the Police Station,” she elaborated.

During the course of investigation, she said, fake currency was also recovered from the aforementioned officials.

The spokesperson congratulated Turkish Ambassador as Volkan Bozkir of Turkey on his election as President of 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

She said consequent to the efforts by the government and the foreign missions, 82, 462 Pakistani nationals had so far been repatriated from 73 countries.