Pakistan calls upon Iranian authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into cross border attack

Islamabad: Pakistan has called upon the Iranian authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into the cross border terrorist attack that took place in Panjgur district of Balochistan and bring the perpetrators to task.

At her weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said the terrorists used the Iranian soil to target a convoy of security forces patrolling along Pakistan-Iran border. She said we expect Iran to ensure its territory is not used for cross border attacks in Pakistan.

The spokesperson said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. She said we strongly commit that our territory will not be used for undertaking cross border attacks in Iran and we expect the same from Iran.

She said Pakistan and Iran are neighbors and our channel of communications are active. We are sharing with the Iranian side our concerns regarding the incident.

Responding to a question, the foreign office spokesperson said Pakistan has always desired cooperative relationship with all its neighbors including India. We have consistently advocated for constructive engagement to resolve all outstanding issues including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. However, India’s unabated hostility and retrogressive actions have vitiated the environment and impeded the process of peace and cooperation.

She said onus remains on India to create an enabling environment for meaningful and result oriented dialogue. The reversal of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019 in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is of critical importance. She said Pakistan will also appreciate if international community especially friendly countries would convince India to take such steps.

To a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan is in close contact with Saudi Arabia on matters pertaining to their investment in Pakistan.

The spokesperson said Pakistan and the United States are in the process of robust engagement and dialogue. She said Pakistan expects to further deepen its cooperation with the US.

The spokesperson said Pakistan and China have agreed to temporarily reopen Khunjerab border in two phases. In the first phase, the Khunjerab border will open today for two days and again from end January to early February after the Chinese Spring Festival. She said the Khunjerab border remains closed during the winter months. However the Chinese side has agreed to Pakistani request for temporary reopening of the border to facilitate local traders. We appreciate the special efforts of border officials on both sides to ensure smooth border operations despite inclement weather conditions.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will undertake an official visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 25th of this month to attend the 26th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Economic Cooperation Organization. She said the Foreign Minister will address the moot and hold bilateral meetings with participating ministers and other dignitaries on the sidelines of the event.

Pakistan has condemned the continued oppression by Indian troops in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

According to Kashmir Media Service, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch in her weekly press briefing said during the last week, the Indian forces’ personnel continued to carry out cordon and search operations in different parts of Rajouri, Poonch and Reasi districts, harassing the local population.

She said in a disturbing event, two Kashmiri youth were killed in a fake encounter in Budgam district after they were dislodged by the Indian troops from a vehicle and shot dead on spot.

She said a family in Kunan village of Kupwara has been desperately looking for the whereabouts of their son and brother Abdul Rashid Dar for the last one month. Similarly, she said a truck driver, Dar went missing on 15th December after he was whisked away by Army soldiers from 41 Rashtriya Rifles unit.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said the case of Abdul Rashid Dar, though tragic, is not unique as over the last three decades, hundreds have gone missing while in the custody of Indian forces. According to credible counts, some 8000 persons have gone missing in IIOJK since 1989.

She said Pakistan will continue to raise its voice on the continuing grave human rights abuses in IIOJK and will also continue to extend unstinted moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir in their struggle for right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.