FO asks US to move against Kashmir abuses

FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal

By Umbreen Turk
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday pointed out the ‘failure’ of U.S. Treasury Department to notice extensive human rights abuses by Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir as it issued a list of 18 global abusers including a Pakistani police official.
“Given the scope of Global Magnitsky Act, we are surprised that the Treasury Department failed to hold anyone responsible for the most egregious, extensively reported and independently verified human rights violations and abuses being perpetrated in IoJ&K by Indian security forces,” the Foreign Office Spokesman said when asked to respond over the sanctioning of Senior Superintendent Police Rao Anwar.
The United States on Tuesday placed Rao Anwar on a list of major global abusers of human rights, accusing him of being involved in 190 fake police encounters that resulted in over 400 deaths. The list, issued on International Human Rights Day, includes individuals in Myanmar, Pakistan, Libya, Slovakia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan for their roles in serious incidents of human rights abuse.
Spokesman, Dr Muhammad Faisal at a weekly press briefing said Rao Anwar Khan was already under trial for the crimes he had allegedly committed and the matter was sub judice. Rejecting India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, he said the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in pursuance of its Hindutva ideology had cornered the country in a dead end. He termed the legislation a sheer violation of human rights, which he said had put the minorities in India at serious security risks. He said the crisis of IoJ&K was worsening day by day as entire Valley entered 137th day of continuous siege with complete communication blackout.
On Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s boycott of his Indian counterpart during his speech at Heart of Asia Conference in Turkey, he said “Pakistan will again boycott Indian in future as well, whenever required.” The FO spokesman said 19th summit of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) would be held in Islamabad whenever agreed upon. “Only one country, India, has a problem with it and let’s see if it wants to move forward or not,” he said, adding that all other regional states were willing to the holding of the Summit.
Dr Faisal said Pakistan welcomed the resumption of direct negotiations between the United States and Taliban as it always espoused a political solution to the conflict, adding that “Pakistan’s argument had won the day”.
In response to a statement of U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham urging the United States to negotiate with Pakistan instead of Taliban, he termed the Senator a “friend of Pakistan, who talked about deepening and broadening of relationship between the two countries”.
The spokesman confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon visit Bahrain, the details of which would be shared in due course of time. He said convening of a meeting of High Level Strategic Council in Islamabad was under process, which would also be attended by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.