FO rejects Indian army chief's 'irresponsible, false' allegations against Pakistan

FO rejects Indian army chief's 'irresponsible, false' allegations against Pakistan

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Foreign Office (FO) on Friday strongly rejected the "irresponsible, false and spurious" allegations made by the Indian army chief against Pakistan.

"These baseless Indian allegations are patently designed to divert global and domestic attention from India's state-terrorism and egregious human rights violations and clamping of fundamental freedoms in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, particularly post August 5, 2019," FO Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a statement at her weekly news briefing in Islamabad, the Radio Pakistan reported.

The strong reaction by the FO came after Indian army chief General MM Naravane had alleged that while India was busy "not only helping our own citizens but the rest of the world by sending medical teams and exporting medicines" during the coronavirus crisis, Pakistan was only "exporting terror".

According to Indian media, he made these comments while on a two-day visit to occupied Kashmir to review the security situation.

"It is very unfortunate that at a time when the whole world and India is fighting the menace of this pandemic, our neighbour continues to foment trouble for us," Naravane was quoted as saying.

Aisha Farooqui said that this year alone, Indian occupation forces in occupied Kashmir have committed over 765 ceasefire violations, resulting in shahadat (martyrdom) of 3 civilians as well as serious injuries to 54 innocent civilians.

"In 2019, India violated the ceasefire agreement 3351 times. She said Pakistan continues to respond to Indian belligerence in a firm and responsible manner," the FO spokesperson said.

The spokesperson reminded India to respect the 2003 ceasefire understanding and maintain peace along the Line of Control (LoC) in the interest of regional peace and security. She said India must also allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council Resolutions.

Aisha Farooqui said whilst the world grapples with the coronavirus, over nine hundred thousand Indian occupation forces are continuing their atrocities against Kashmiri people. She said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-inspired Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is busy exploiting international focus on the COVID-19 pandemic to pursue its exclusionary Hindutva agenda.

"Pakistan is particularly concerned over continued restrictions on movement and information in occupied Jammu and Kashmir despite growing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and resulting fatalities," the spokesperson said.

She said that internet restrictions have prevented dissemination of information and impeded containment and relief efforts in the occupied territory.

"The blockade has compromised supply of critical medical equipment and medicines," the spokesperson said.

Replying to a question about global efforts to contain Covid-19, the Spokesperson said that the pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to the world and the (World Health Organization) WHO is at the forefront of international efforts to contain the pandemic.

She added the international community will have to work together in a coordinated manner to defeat the Coronavirus.

"Pakistan urges the international community, world leaders, UN, WHO and other stakeholders to come together to combat the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic," the FO spokesperson said.

Aisha Farooqi stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was providing Pakistan a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine, biohazard safety cabinets, test kits and related consumables to help fight the novel coronavirus through the use of a nuclear-derived technique.

"The provision of this equipment will augment Pakistan’s national capacity to conduct Covid-19 tests which are crucial to containing the spread of the disease," the spokesperson said.

"Pakistan deeply values the contribution of the IAEA and its leadership to help member states in their efforts to fight the global Covid-19 pandemic", the statement said.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has a longstanding relationship with the IAEA. As a founding member of the agency, Pakistan has continued to benefit from its technical assistance in various fields, including health, agriculture and energy, while also contributing to the agency’s work to promote peaceful uses of nuclear technologies.