Islamabad raises concern over violence against Indian Muslims

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it was actively engaged with the Iranian government to deal with the spread of coronavirus and the evolving situation.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, at her weekly news briefing said Pakistan fully supported the efforts of Iranian authorities in managing the outbreak of the virus. “We stand in solidarity with them.”
She said Pakistan’s embassy and two consulates in Iran were alert and monitoring the situation closely and were reaching out to the Pakistani community there including Zaireen and students.
Helplines had also been established in the embassy and the consulates to provide necessary updates and assistance to the community members, she added.
Aisha Farooqui expressed grave concern over the violence against Muslims including desecration of mosques in New Delhi and said Pakistani leadership as well as the international community had also raised their concerns on the situation.
She said the state oppression that the Kashmiri people had been suffering for decades at the hands of Indian authorities now found its way in the Indian capital.
She said Pakistan had welcomed the mediation offer made by US President Donald Trump during his visit to India.
She pointed out that the

US president also lauded Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism during the visit, adding, the very remarks were a manifestation of upward trajectory in Pakistan-US relations. She said there was an increasing awareness in the world that resolution of Kashmir dispute was the key for peace and stability in the region.
The spokesperson, however, said Pakistan had concerns over the defense deals between the US and India especially the sale of sophisticated weapon system to New Delhi. This, she said, would further destabilize the already volatile region.
“We have alerted the international community many times about India’s aggressive designs not only towards Pakistan but also other countries in the region,” she added. She said Pakistan had been the victim of state terrorism emanating from the eastern border, adding, they had shared their concerns in this regard with the international community.
Aisha Farooqui said Pakistan welcomes the peace deal to be signed between the US and Afghan Taliban on Saturday. She expressed the confidence that the deal would pave the way for intra Afghan dialogue.
She hoped that the historic opportunity would be seized by all the Afghan parties to take the people of Afghanistan towards peace and stability. She said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would represent Pakistan at the peace agreement signing ceremony.
The spokesperson said Pakistan had played a significant role in facilitating the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
She confirmed that the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan was on the cards. She said both the sides were working on the schedule of the visit.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui on Thursday confirmed that Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Pakistan. Sources said the Chinese president along with his high-level delegation will arrive in Pakistan in June. Pakistan’s foreign office and Chinese FO were in contacts to finalize the schedule of Chinese President Xi’s Pakistan visit.
Speaking during the weekly briefing at the Foreign Office today, the FO spokeswoman while commenting over ban on Umrah flights from Pakistan citing two reported cases of coronavirus in the country said that they are in contact with the Saudi Arabian authorities over the matter.
While welcoming the mediation offer from the United States (US) President Donald Trump on Kashmir issue, Aisha Farooqui said that a pleasant change could be witnessed in the entire region if the issue is resolved through these efforts.
She, however, expressed Pakistan’s concern over arms deal between the United States and India and said that the arms race in the region would intensify conflict in the region. it is pertinent to mention here that the U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that India will buy $3 billion worth of military equipment, including attack helicopters, as the two countries deepen defence and commercial ties.
India and the United States were also making progress on a big trade deal, Trump said. Negotiators from the two sides have wrangled for months to narrow differences on farm goods, medical devices, digital trade and new tariffs.