Friday, July 19

Opening Remarks for the Weekly Press Briefing by Spokesperson Friday, 10 November 2023

Opening Remarks for the Weekly Press Briefing by Spokesperson Friday, 10 November 2023

Opening Remarks for the Weekly Press Briefing by Spokesperson Friday, 10 November 2023Assalam-o-Alaikum,
Welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar attended the 16th ECO Summit in Tashkent on 8-9 November 2023 held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s steadfast commitment to ECO’s goals of regional growth, connectivity, development and mutual prosperity. He presented Pakistan’s vision for the future work of the organization and for promotion of regional connectivity and mutual prosperity. The Prime Minister underscored the imperative of regional cooperation for promotion of trade, investment, development of transport and communications infrastructure, and sustainable economic development.

Prime Minister Kakar vehemently condemned the incessant and lethal bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces. He called for the resolution of the Palestinian question in accordance with the relevant UNSC and OIC Resolutions. The Prime Minister also invited international attention on the growing intolerance, xenophobia and Islamophobia, called for building political and legal deterrence against the abhorrent rise of Islamophobia and for fostering mutual respect, interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Heydar oghlu Aliyev, and President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev. He also met with Secretary General of ECO, Ambassador Khusrav Noziri. These meetings focused on strengthening bilateral relations, actively promoting regional connectivity and development and strengthening ECO as an organization.

Earlier this week, on 6 November 2023, the people of Pakistan and Kashmiris around the world remembered the victims of the mass killings in November 1947 in Jammu. 76 years ago, the Dogra Army of Prince Hari Singh, backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had systematically massacred about 237,000 Muslims in a premeditated and systematic manner.

We remember and honour the victims and call for accountability of those responsible for these mass killings. The international community should commit to never allow such atrocities to take place again. India must comply with its international obligations and respect the rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people who have an inalienable right to self-determination.

Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters for the just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.

Pakistan is deeply concerned about the heinous crimes being comitted against the Palestinian people as Israeli forces continue with their campaign of terror and brutality in Gaza. For over a month, the people of Gaza have been subjected to the worst forms of collective punishment. Israeli forces are committing crimes against humanity with impunity as they indiscriminately massacre defenceless civilians and deliberately deprive them of food, water, shelter and medical care. The use of phosphorus bombs and threats of nuclear holocaust are being made against a people under occupation who are being forcibly evicted from their land.

As a tragedy of epic proportions unfolds in Gaza, the UN Security Council must act to fulfill its responsibility to uphold peace and call for an urgent and unconditional ceasefire, lifting of the siege and commencement of rapid, unhindered humanitarian assistance. Backers of Israel must prevail upon it to abandon its plans for settler colonialism, forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. As an occupying power, Israel must fulfill its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and forthwith end the carnage in Gaza.

Pakistan welcomes the forthcoming Extraordinary Islamic Summit to be held on 11 November 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The OIC Summit has been convened in response to the unprecedented Israeli attacks on Gaza and its environs, which have posed a grave threat to civilian population and precipitated a humanitarian crisis.

Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar will travel to Saudi Arabia today, to participate in the Extraordinary Islamic Summit. At the Summit, and the CFM preceding it where Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani will participate, Pakistan will continue to play its role to advance international consensus and galvanize efforts for an urgent end to Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and urgent provision of relief assistance to the people of Gaza.

I thank you all.

Editor: Raja Kamran