ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday warned Indus against any misadventure saying it has the capability to defend itself against any aggression, as evidenced by its forceful response to India's actions in February 2019.
Speaking at a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zehra Baloch strongly condemned the provocative statement made by India's Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh.
The Indian media had quoted him saying that the Indian army will not hesitate to cross the Line of Control if necessary. Baloch termed these remarks as unwarranted and completely unacceptable, reflecting India's hostility towards its neighbors, especially Pakistan.
She urges India to exercise utmost caution, as their aggressive rhetoric posed a threat to regional peace and stability, further destabilizing the strategic environment in South Asia.
“Pakistan commits to acting responsibly and contributing to efforts that promote peace, security, and stability in the region,” she said.
The Spokesperson emphasized that Jammu and Kashmir was an internationally-recognized disputed territory, and New Delhi should focus on implementing relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Baloch said Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had an active agenda over the last several days.
“The FM held important telephone conversations with a number of his counterparts and leaders of international organizations and institutions,” she added.
She elaborated that the FM held talks with Foreign Minister of Iran, Dr. Hossien Amir Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Türkiye, Hakan Fidan, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General, Hissein Brahmin Taha, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
“In these conversations, bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest were discussed. The main purpose of these calls was to discuss two key issues of concern to Pakistan: the alarming rise of Islamophobia and religious hatred directed against Muslims, and discussions pertaining to the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI),” she said. The spokesperson said the Black Sea Grain Initiative was discussed between the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Ukraine last week. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had expressed a willingness to engage with relevant parties to promote dialogue and consultation for the revival of the Initiative, she said. Baloch said that the Foreign Minister discussed BSGI in the telephone conversations with the Foreign Minister of Turkiye and Russia, the US Secretary of State and the EU High Representative, and the UN Secretary General. “The FM shared with them Pakistan’s concerns pertaining to food security and inflation resulting from BSGI’s expiry. He underscored the need for concerted efforts to revive the deal, taking into account the concerns of the relevant parties on the basis of mutual accommodation. Foreign Minister also shared Pakistan’s readiness to contribute to collective efforts in that regard,” she maintained.
Baloch said Pakistan “strongly condemns the desecration of the Holy Quran and dishonoring of the Pakistani flag in front of the Embassy of Pakistan in Copenhagen, Denmark. A strong protest has been lodged with the Government of Denmark. We expect the Danish authorities to take all measures necessary to stop such acts of hatred and incitement.” She said Pakistan has always maintained that freedom of expression comes with responsibilities. It is the responsibility of national governments, regional organizations and the international community at large to call out, condemn and proactively prevent the vile acts of Islamophobia and religious hatred.
As urged by the UN Human Rights Council, she said, the relevant countries must address, prevent and prosecute such acts of religious hatred.
The international community must raise its collective voice against Islamophobia and work together to promote inter-faith harmony and peaceful co-existence, she added. “Pakistan, for its part, will continue to raise the question of Islamophobia at the international level. This issue was a key point of telephone conversations of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with his counterparts from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkiye and with Secretary General of OIC and the UN Secretary General. issues pertaining to these recurrent acts of Islamophobia are being discussed at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah and the Human Rights Council in Geneva,” she mentioned.