Saturday, June 22

Weekly Press Briefing by the Spokesperson Thursday, 01 February 2024

Weekly Press Briefing by the Spokesperson Thursday, 01 February 2024

Weekly Press Briefing by the Spokesperson Thursday, 01 February 2024

Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani is in Belgium to attend the Third EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum.

Yesterday, the Foreign Minister held bilateral meetings with a number of European Union officials, including the Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino; the EU Special Envoy for Religious Freedom, Frans van Daele; the Commissioner for Climate Action, Wopke Hoekstra; and the Chair of European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the countries of South Asia, Nicola Procaccini. The discussions focused on cooperation between Pakistan and the European Union in trade, investment, digital technology, climate action, health, and connectivity. Foreign Minister Jilani will hold further bilateral meetings with EU officials and Ministers of other participating countries over the next few days.

The Foreign Minister will participate in the plenary session of the Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum tomorrow. He will also participate in a roundtable session on ‘Economic Resilience and Investment’ to underscore investment opportunities for foreign investors in Pakistan.

At the Forum, the Foreign Minister will call for an equitable international economic order and cooperation to stimulate inclusive growth and bolster economic resilience of developing countries. He will express Pakistan’s commitment to sustainable economic development, reducing carbon footprint and enhancing climate resilience. He will reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to building a robust and resilient economy and outline Pakistan’s vision of a long-term partnership with the European Union by introducing new strands of cooperation.

Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, visited Pakistan on 29 January 2024 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani. He held in-depth meetings with Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and met with Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and the Chief of Army Staff. This was an important visit where the two sides reaffirmed their long-term commitment to bilateral relations.

The two sides underlined the imperative for collective and collaborative approaches to confront terrorism, which is a common challenge to both Pakistan and Iran. We agreed to further strengthen institutional mechanisms on security cooperation and to immediately appoint liaison officers in Turbat and Zahedan. It was also agreed to expand initiatives for economic and development cooperation, including through early operationalization of the joint border markets. Another significant understanding was the establishment of a Joint Coordination Mechanism at the level of Foreign Ministers to oversee and steer progress on a common agenda for prosperity and development.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi shared credible evidence linking Indian agents to extra-territorial and extra-judicial killings of two Pakistani nationals on Pakistani soil. These cases have exposed the increasing sophistication and brazenness of Indian-sponsored terrorist acts inside Pakistan, with striking similarities with the pattern observed in other countries, including Canada and the United States. India’s assassination of Pakistani nationals on Pakistani soil is a clear violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and a breach of the UN Charter. It is critical to bring to justice the perpetrators, facilitators, financiers and sponsors of these extra-judicial and extra-territorial killings. The Indian network of extra-judicial and extra-territorial killings is now a global phenomenon that needs coordinated international response. India must be held accountable internationally for its blatant violation of international law.

As part of its proactive diplomacy and deepening engagement with Small Island Developing States, Pakistan has formally established diplomatic relations with St. Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.

Pakistan will continue to widen its diplomatic footprint and expand cooperation with countries across the globe. We intend to enhance outreach to Small Island Developing States which remain important partners for Pakistan at the multilateral level.

Over the last three years, Pakistan has established diplomatic relations with Palau, Kiribati & the Dominican Republic.

Pakistan is deeply concerned about the ongoing oppression of the people of Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces. We strongly condemn its attack inside the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin. This event is the latest in a series of inhumane war on hospitals which fall in the category of war crimes being perpetrated against the people of Palestine. These ongoing atrocities go against the spirit of the provisional measures decided by the International Court of Justice to protect the people of Gaza.

The suspension of funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) amid the ongoing war and suffering in Gaza also goes against the spirit of the ICJ’s provisional measures that called for provision of essential services and humanitarian assistance to address the challenging conditions faced by the Palestinians in Gaza. We urge reconsideration of the decision to suspend funding of UNRWA which has a crucial role in protecting and supporting the Palestinian people.

Pakistan also calls for the full implementation of ICJ’s provisional judgment to uphold human rights, dignity, and identity of the Palestinian people as per the UN Charter, relevant resolutions, and international law. The implementation of these provisional measures requires an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to bring about an end to the suffering faced by the people of Gaza. The UN Security Council should, therefore, play its mandated role to impose a ceasefire and protect the people of Gaza from ongoing atrocities.

On Monday, the Government and people of Pakistan will observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day. On this day, Pakistanis and Kashmiris around the world reaffirm their solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination. In line with the past practice, an elaborate programme has been outlined to observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day with traditional zeal and fervor.

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.

Editor: Raja Kamran