Islamabad (January 26, 2018): Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told the Senate on Friday that Indian Border Security Forces committed 170 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary (WB) in the first 24 days of 2018.
At least 11 civilians lost their lives, whereas 48 others were injured in the recent spurt of LoC violations, Asif said in a written reply submitted to the Upper House on the matter.
In his reply, Asif claimed that there had been a surge in Indian ceasefire violations since international pressure began mounting against New Delhi for its violation of human rights in India-held Kashmir.
Asif also pointed out that anti-Pakistan statements issued by various Indian leaders would not help efforts to create peace in the region, adding that Delhi’s involvement in terrorism in Pakistan is also a reality.The reply said that Pakistan believes lasting peace between the two countries can be achieved through dialogue, and that the most important issue that must be discussed by Islamabad and New Delhi is that of Kashmir.
“Pakistan wants friendly relations with its neighbours but its advances are met with hostility from India,” the foreign minister said in his report. “It is unfortunate that India responds to Pakistan’s friendly moves with hostility.”
Asif recalled Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s participation in the 2015 Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad, saying that despite both parties’ agreement to revive the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue, no such plans had materialised.“Pakistan wants to improve its relationship with Afghanistan as peace there is in our own better interests,” the reply said.
Minister for Power Awais Leghari on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs told the Senate during question hour that we want resolution of all outstanding issues with India, including that of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said this desire has consistently been reiterated during high level engagements as well as other official interactions with India but our positive overtures have not been reciprocated.
The Minister said continuing Indian denial of UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute and gross human rights violations in the occupied valley are matters of serious concerns for us and the international community.Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad said Hakla-D.I. Khan road which is part of Western Route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project, will be completed by May next year.
Minister of State for Maritime Affairs Jaffer Iqbal told the house that Pakistan National Shipping Corporation comprises modernized fleet and it is in the process of purchasing two more tanker vessels to cater for the requirements of the country.
Minister of State for Inter-provincial coordination Dr Darshan said that drug laboratories have been established in the federal capital and the provinces to ensure the quality of medicines in the country.Minister for Federal Education Baligur Rehman said that international donors have started contributing to Malala Fund established in 2012. He said Pakistan has contributed ten million dollars and this fund will be used for promotion of girls’ education.
Responding to points raised by members, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal informed the House that five billion dollars of investment has been mobilized for exploitation of Thar coal.
He said Thar coal is a precious asset which values more than the cumulative energy reservoirs of Saudi Arabia and Iran.The Minister clarified that the loans taken from China for infrastructure development under CPEC project are concessional in nature.
He dismissed any irregularity or misappropriation in the CPEC related projects.
The House passed the National University of Technology Bill.
It was moved by Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain.
Opposition leader, Aitzaz Ahsan and other members of the opposition voiced concern over the recent clash between two student groups in Punjab University Lahore.In his remarks, Leader of the House Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said Inspector General Punjab has been asked to release the injured students and shift them to hospital.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Punjab Chief Minister has assured to resolve the matter.
The house unanimously passed a resolution expressing solidarity with the Kashmiri people and their just struggle for the right to self-determination.
The resolution moved by Nasreen Jalil strongly denounced the Indian atrocities in the occupied valley and urged international community and the United Nations to take notice of these brutalities and basic human rights violations.
The house has now been prorogued.