ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan yesterday said it will not allow India to impose its will in held Kashmir and deny rights to the Kashmiris.

Speaking at the weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said Pakistan had categorically rejected the report of the so-called Delimitation Commission.

“Pakistan’s position is unambiguous and crystal clear. India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019 and all subsequent measures in IIOJK are in blatant violation of international law including the 4th Geneva Convention and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. India’s attempts to lend ‘legitimacy’ to its illegal and unilateral actions will never succeed,” he added.

He said the ulterior motive of Indian moves was to undermine the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir, and to bring about changes in the demographic composition of the occupied territory to convert the Muslim majority to minority in IIOJK.

“Pakistan and the Kashmiri people have rejected all these moves. This report is a further manifestation of the BJP government’s repugnant plan to disempower and disenfranchise the Kashmiris. Consequently, the electoral balance has been artificially tilted in favour of Jammu as opposed to Kashmir, despite the latter making up the bigger portion of the overall IIOJK population,” he sauid.

To a question about the 540MW Kwar power hydroelectric project on Chenab River in the district of Kishtwar by India, he said this will ultimately divert the flow of river.

“Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters has already formally raised objection on this project with his Indian counterpart. And this is a practice that we continue to follow, as we keep close watch on these developments and we will take all necessary steps to protect our interest,” Ahmed said.

About the ties with India, he said, “In diplomacy you never shut the doors. Let me say very clearly and I think it is very obvious from the statements of the leadership of the previous government and the current government, and I think you will see a lot of consistency in these statements, and that is because this is an issue on which there is national consensus. So yes, we have been saying we want friendly relations with all neighbours including India but the situation that arose in the wake of India’s illegal and unilateral actions in IIOJK on 5th August 2019 and subsequent steps they took, the environment for a fruitful, constructive dialogue is not there.”

He added: “We have been saying very consistently that the onus was on India to create an environment that is conducive for a result oriented dialogue, and yes Jammu and Kashmir as the core dispute has to be at the forefront of any such dialogue.”

The spokesperson said Pakistan had continued to urge the successive Afghan governments for their cooperation in counter-terrorism and not to allow the use of Afghan soil by any groups including TTP for undertaking terrorism in Pakistan.

“We hope the Afghan interim government will take all necessary measures to fulfill its commitment for not letting TTP use Afghan soil against Pakistan, and I must add that this is also an expectation of the international community that Afghan soil will not be used for terrorism against any country.  We shall continue to take all possible measures that can best serve the interest of peace and stability in our country and the region. National interest is always uppermost,” he said.

He said an invitation has been extended and Pakistan’s participation has been confirmed for the ministerial meeting on food security that is going to be held in New York on 18 May 2022. “We will share further details as soon as these are firmed up. We can also look forward to other bilateral engagements on the sidelines during this visit,” he maintained.

To a question, the spokesperson said there was a meeting of Group of Legal Experts of SCO-RATS scheduled to be held in New Delhi from 15-20 May 2022.

“It is a regular expert level meeting which will be joined by all SCO member countries and there is nothing unusual about it. These meetings are periodically held in Tashkent but since India is current chair of SCO-RATS, the meeting is being hosted by India in New Delhi. A working-level Pakistan delegation, led by MoFA, would participate in the meeting with participation from other officials,” he added.

He said there was continuing focus on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue to advance this objective including through OIC and other relevant fora.

“We have also been saying that other situations should not divert the international community’s attention from the situation in Afghanistan. And we keep on assisting Afghanistan also in the context of emergency relief as I mentioned following the recent floods,” he said.

With the US, he said, “there is shared desire for further strengthening and enhancing of mutually beneficial bilateral relations as manifested by recent and ongoing contacts.”