ISLAMABAD     -   Pakistan yesterday said that US President Donald Trump was very much engaged on the Kashmir issue and had been consistently offering mediation.

Speaking at a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said: “Prime Minister’s telephone conversations (August 16 and 19 August) with President Trump were aimed at apprising the US leadership of the current situation in Kashmir following India’s unilateral and illegal actions. President Trump’s consistent engagement is a manifestation of his interest in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.”

Faisal urged the world to pay attention to the bloodshed in Kashmir. “We are exploring all options and active consultations between all stakeholders are underway. We will share the details very soon regarding the steps that Pakistan is planning to take. India cannot besiege the Kashmiris and impose an indefinite curfew in the Indian occupied valley. This dispute needs to be resolved as per UN Security Council Resolutions and India must immediately stop its grave violations of human rights,” he added.

He said that Kashmiri diaspora all across Europe had been condemning and protesting against the unilateral and illegal actions of India in occupied Kashmir. “These protests will continue, as there are families of Kashmiris who have settled all across the globe and they have out-rightly rejected Indian actions,” he said.

The spokesperson said that August 22 was the 19th day of the total blackout and curfew in Occupied Valley, creating a famine-like situation for the entire besieged population.

“Kashmir has been converted into the largest prison in the history of mankind. More than 14 million humans are incarcerated in their homes,” he added.

Dr Faisal said that Pakistan impresses upon the international community to take cognizance of the continuing blatant human rights violations by the Indian authorities in Kashmir. Tom a question, Dr Faisal said Wagah Border was open and people were crossing over from both sides.

He said there was an agreement between Pakistan and India for sharing of flood data, which was signed in 1989. “According to this agreement, India is supposed to share data from 01 July till 10 October, every year, of flood waters. This agreement was renewed annually but this year India has refused to do so and henceforth flood data was not conveyed to Pakistan,” he maintained.

However, he said, India had shared some data under Article IV(8) of IWT, which “is related to extraordinary discharges and is distinct from the 1989 Agreement. We have taken it up with the Indian side. Further technical details can be sought from the Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters.” Dr Faisal said no backdoor diplomacy was taking place with India.

The spokesperson said there was no organized presence of Daesh in Pakistan, adding Pakistan was committed to peace in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has sincerely supported peace international efforts, as part of a shared responsibility. We believe that a final and durable solution in Afghanistan, which would be a victory for the Afghans, the regional countries and the international community, has to be fully Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. It would also require a strong and consistent support in the medium to long run, of the international community, of which Pakistan would remain a part,” he said.

Asked if the Kartarpur Sahab Corridor be inaugurated as per schedule, Faisal said: “We are planning to open Kartarpur Sahab Corridor as per schedule.”

He welcomed Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatullah Khamenei’s statement in favour of Kashmir. “I would say he has previously spoken on this issue as well and has been a vocal proponent and supporter of the Kashmiri people and the Kashmir cause. We are very thankful for his continued support,” Faisal acknowledged.

Regarding US sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, he said Pakistan had noted this development with concern. “Pakistan has always maintained a principled opposition to unilateral sanctions. The Prime Minister of Pakistan has repeatedly urged the need to resolve all issues through peaceful means and negotiations for easing of tensions in the Gulf Region. We believe that there should be room for diplomacy and dialogue and for those pursuing solutions through peaceful means,” he elaborated.

About social media websites suspending accounts of users who upload any footage from occupied Kashmir on the request of the Indian government, Faisal said this was a matter of great concern for Pakistan. “We have taken this issue up as this is not fair and violates the fundamental right of freedom of expression,” he contended.