FO blasts Indian army chief for ‘irresponsible, false’ allegations against Pakistan

Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui on Friday strongly rejected the “irresponsible, spurious and totally false allegations” against Pakistan by the Indian army chief.

“These baseless Indian allegations are patently designed to divert global and domestic attention from India’s state-terrorism and egregious human rights violations, and clamping of fundamental freedoms in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, particularly post August 5, 2019,” said the FO in her statement.

Earlier in the day, Indian army chief General MM Naravane had alleged that while India was busy “not only helping our own citizens but the rest of the world by sending medical teams and exporting medicines” during the coronavirus crisis, Pakistan was only “exporting terror”.

According to Hindustan Times, he made these comments while on a two-day visit to occupied Kashmir to review the security situation.

“It is very unfortunate that at a time when the whole world and India is fighting the menace of this pandemic, our neighbour continues to foment trouble for us,” Naravane was quoted as saying.

Pakistan in recent days has charged India with repeated ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LoC), which have resulted in the loss of civilians’ lives. A statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said heavy artillery fire by India “deliberately targeted civilians” across the border.

“This year alone, Indian occupation forces in occupied Kashmir have committed over 765 ceasefire violations, resulting in shahadat (martyrdom) of 3 civilians as well as serious injuries to 54 innocent civilians,” said Farooqui in her statement today. “In 2019, India violated the ceasefire agreement 3,351 times. Pakistan continues to respond to Indian belligerence in a firm and responsible manner.”

“In the interest of regional peace and security, India is once again reminded to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and maintain peace along the LoC. It must also allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions,” added the statement.

‘Complete disregard for fundamental humanitarianism in IOK’
Speaking about the continued clampdown in occupied Kashmir, Farooqui noted that today was the 257th day of the “oppression and communication blackout faced by the people” since India unilaterally revoked the region’s special status on August 5 last year.

“It is regrettable that while the world grapples with the global health emergency, over 900,000 Indian occupation troops in IOK continue their atrocities against innocent Kashmiris.”

“In complete disregard for fundamental humanitarianism, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-inspired Bharatiya Janata Party’s government is busy exploiting international focus on the Covid-19 pandemic to pursue its exclusionary ‘Hindutva’ agenda,” FO spokesperson added in her statement.

“Pakistan is particularly concerned over continued restrictions on movement and information in IOK despite growing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and resulting fatalities.”

She pointed out that internet restrictions have prevented dissemination of information and impeded containment and relief efforts while the blockade has compromised supply of critical medical equipment and medicines.

“Children are unable to avail virtual education unlike the rest of the world due to unprecedented blockade of 4G internet. The international community, including human rights organisations and civil society, continue raising its serious concerns in this regard.”

Last month, Pakistan had called on India to lift the communication blockade imposed in occupied Kashmir and ensure supplies of essential commodities in the valley to contain the spread of Covid-19 and mitigate the suffering of Kashmiris.