Hindu terrorists carrying out ‘ethnic cleansing’ in IHK: FO

| Accuses India of funding terrorists in Pakistan | Rejects Afghan allegations about Islamabad’s anti-terror role

ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan yesterday accused Hindu terrorist organisations, with all-out support from Indian government, of carrying out ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims in Jammu region of Occupied Kashmir

The Foreign Office maintained that the Kashmiris were being killed by Indian security forces in fake encounters. “Many Kashmiris have been killed in fake encounters, house raids and custodial killings. We condemn continuous killing of Kashmiris,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in weekly news briefing.

“Hindu terrorist organizations and the armed village defence committees are committing ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims in the Jammu region,” he said and added since the Modi government took over in 2014, the Hindu terrorists have been empowered with full support from the state machinery in Held Kashmir, causing displacement of scores of Kashmiri Muslim families by design.

Zakaria said Pakistan is constantly sensitising the world community on the grave violation of human rights of Kashmiris. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently visiting Davos to participate in the World Economic Forum, held bilateral meetings with various leaders on the sidelines during which he highlighted human rights violations of Kashmiris by Indian forces.

The spokesperson reminded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that no country had fought terrorism like Pakistan.

Zakaria said Pakistan was a victim of Indian state-sponsored terrorism and had undeniable evidence against Indian interference and financing of terrorists.

“With reference to Indian Prime Minister’s statement, no nation has done more than Pakistan to defeat the menace of terrorism. Our successes in counter terrorism are well demonstrated and have been widely acknowledged. The salutary effect on our economy is also visible,” he said.

Zakaria said Pakistan was a victim of terrorism, “especially Indian state-sponsored terrorism. The confessional statement of a serving Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Yadav, has proved that Indian state agencies are continuously involved in subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan.”

Commenting on US Foreign Policy Magazine that India had built two top-secret facilities in Challakere, Karnataka to enrich uranium in pursuit of its hydrogen bomb plans, he said: “India’s expansion of its conventional and nuclear capabilities goes against the objective of strategic stability in South Asia.”

He said any assessment pinning blame on Pakistan for nuclearising South Asia was obviously neither fair nor accurate. “As you are well aware, it was India, which introduced the nuclear factor in South Asia. Obviously, Pakistan had no option but to follow the suit to avoid nuclear blackmail,” he said.

The spokesman said Pakistan had repeatedly called on the Indian government to pursue the path of dialogue and engagement, rather than confrontation, violence and terrorism. “India has always shirked from dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir,” he said.

When asked about an Indian minister’s statement to declare RSS as a terrorist organisation, he said: “I think you need to see this statement in the backdrop of public confession by the RSS activist, Swami Aseemanand, regarding involvement in Samjhauta Express terrorist attack of February 2007, in which mostly Pakistanis were killed. He was the mastermind.”

Zakaria said Swami Aseemanan had also identified other terrorists involved belonging to Abhinav Bharat, “headed by then a serving Indian Army Colonel, Parohit.”

He added: “RSS was instrumental in the genocide of more than 500,000 Kashmiri Muslims during November 1947,” he said.

He said Indian involvement in Pakistan’s internal matters was a longstanding problem that Pakistan had been raising with the international community for a quite some time.

He said Kashmir remained a disputed territory and “it is an internationally recognised dispute. So, any claim to that effect by India is a violation of UNSC resolutions, which call for plebiscite and realizing Kashmiris rights to self-determination.”

About forced conversion of girls in India, he said this was not the first time that the issue has surfaced. The move to turn the Muslim majority Jammu district into a Muslim minority district, he said, has been going on since 1947.

Zakaria rejected Afghan government’s ‘baseless allegations’ on Pakistan’ role in fighting terrorism. “The accusatory approach is unhelpful towards efforts for peace. Pakistan has highest stakes in the peace and stability in Afghanistan. No country gets affected more than Pakistan due to instability in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan is, therefore, beyond any doubt,” he said.

The spokesman said it was disappointing that some elements, “which have no interest in peace in Afghanistan and want to damage Afghan-Pakistan relations, have been maligning Pakistan for their own agenda.”

He said, “Pakistan as the most sincere friend and well-wisher of Afghan people, has contributed to the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, whenever requested.”

He said increasing foothold of various terrorist organizations and outfits due to persistent instability in Afghanistan was a growing concern for not just Pakistan but other countries in the region and beyond.

Zakaria said a number of independent studies and assessments have established that the factors impeding reconciliation and stability in Afghanistan were internal to Afghanistan.

He said Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction General Johan Nicholson’s annual assessment report and various other UN reports had amply identified that risks and obstacles in the way to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan remain internal.

On Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah visit to Pakistan, he said: “mutually convenient dates are being worked out.”

Questioned about former US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter’s statement that Pakistan was unaware Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was residing in Abbottabad but this created mistrust between US and Pakistan, Zakaria said: “I have seen that media report. He identified myths and misperception and was aiming to allay the misperception, then created.”

On China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said: “I have seen the statement of Chinese spokesperson and some time back we have also spoken on the issue. CPEC basically is an economic development project which will be beneficial for the entire region and not just for Pakistan and China.”

Asked who would represent Pakistan at Donald Trump’s inauguration as the US President, he said US has not invited Heads of State or government or Foreign Ministers officially to participate in the event.

He added that Pakistan and the US were long standing friends and partners and “we do engage extensively and on regular basis with each other to share our positions on issues of mutual interest and concern.

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