ISLAMABAD                  -               Tension between Pakistan and India has intensified at a time when both the two nuclear-armed neighbours are fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Pakistan summoned Indian diplomats on a number of occasions recently to condemn the firing along the Line of Control that killed and wounded several civilians. Pakistan also protested against the victimisation of the Muslims and denial of human rights in held Kashmir.

Foreign Minster Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India had always risked peace but the provocation among the coronavirus pandemic was beyond anyone’s imaginations.

“Pakistan wants peace but India is intensifying tension. We are ready to defend the motherland but will never be the first to create any problem. World should stop India’s belligerence,” he said.

A day earlier, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur urged the world community and international institutions to take immediate notice of growing Hindu extremism in India, endangering lives of millions of Muslims. 

Also, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui rejected India’s statements against Pakistan on Monday. “We reject the Indian MEA Spokesperson’s irresponsible and completely ill-founded remarks, which are reflective of India’s perennial state of denial with regard to the rights of minorities, particularly Muslims, in India. The treatment of minorities in India is a matter of serious concern not only for the Indian minorities and the neighbouring countries but also for the international community.”

5000 stranded Pakistanis’ to be brought back in third phase

Shah Mehmood Qureshi also said the third phase of repatriation of Pakistanis abroad had started from April 21 during which 5000 Pakistanis will be brought back every week. He was talking to Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf on Tuesday.

The Foreign Minister said the country’s capacity will increase in cooperation with the provinces and will help bring back maximum number of Pakistanis back to the country. He said testing and quarantine facilities at airports across the country had been significantly increased to control the spread of Corona pandemic effectively. The Foreign Minister said, “We are trying to control the local transmission of coronavirus as well as taking steps to cope with the economic impacts of this pandemic.”