ISLAMABAD: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged for full respect to human and fundamental rights in Occupied Kashmir and implementation of the relevant UN resolutions on the issue.
Addressing a joint news conference along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Sunday, he said we have taken solid position for the UN Security council resolutions to be adopted and offered our good offices for resolving issues between Pakistan and India, if both sides agree.
The UN Secretary General said the UNMOGIP is continually monitoring the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. He said the UN was deeply concerned over the tensions between India and Pakistan last year and asked both sides for restraint, as dialogue and diplomacy are the only way to solve the problems.
Antonio Guterres while appreciating the initiative of construction of Kartarpur Corridor said it is a symbol of interfaith harmony and will promote peace in the region.
He said Pakistan is a responsible member of the United Nations and it will be fully supported in dispensing its responsibilities.
The UN Chief said his visit to Pakistan is to acknowledge the great generosity and hospitality that Pakistan extended to Afghan refugees for over forty years, despite its limited resources and challenges.
Hailing the contributions of Pakistan in UN peacekeeping operations around the world, he said Pakistani men and women are serving with full dedication and commitment to promote the values of the UN.
He said he also discussed with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi a number of issues, including on regional security.
The UN Secretary General said Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism are commendable and very successful. He said due to these efforts, now Islamabad has become a safe family station for UN staff.
On Afghan situation, he said political solution and permanent ceasefire is the only way forward to durable peace in Afghanistan which will foster the repatriation process of Afghan refugees. He urged Pakistan to continue playing its pivotal role in sustainable peace in the neighboring country.
In reply to a question, he said we need to fight Islamophobia strongly. He said hate speeches are the main cause of Islamophobia and we are committed to fight against all forms of populism that contributes in such narrative. He said his tomorrow’s visit to Kartarpur corridor will be a symbol of dialogue and tolerance.
On his turn, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said we had a very fruitful meeting with the UN Secretary General in which we discussed a host of issues. He said we have to agree on a time bound roadmap for repatriation of Afghan refugees, supported by the international community. He said Pakistan has always supported peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan as it believes that peace in the neighboring country will improve regional stability.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan is a responsible member of the UN and there is a lot of two way cooperation between the two. He said we are committed to principles and values of the UN charter. He said we support multilateralism instead of unilateralism.
He said one example of unilateralism is the illegal act of 5th August of last year by India. He said we have conveyed to the UNSG about the challenging situation arising out of this unilateral act. He said all shades of Kashmiri opinion have rejected that action. We also discussed increased ceasefire violations after the 5th August.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said more than 200 days have passed since the siege and lockdown of eight million Kashmiris and compromising of fundamental freedoms in the held territory. He said UN Secretary General is the custodian of UN charter and for this responsibility we have some expectations from him. He urged the UN Secretary General to reaffirm the binding nature of UNSC resolutions, besides highlighting the restoration of fundamental rights and freedom of movement and urging India to respect the 2003 ceasefire violations agreement.
The Minister said he also asked the UN Chief that there should be freedom of movement of UNMOGIP to fulfill its mandate on the India side, just like it enjoys in Pakistani area.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he also shared the initiatives of the government on socio economic welfare with the UNSG, including Ehsaas program, health facility program and sustainable development goals. He said we had unanimity of views on climate challenge issues.
Earlier, taking to UN Secretary General said, Pakistan under the leadership of the Prime Minister Imran Khan believes in peaceful neighborhood.
He expressed serious concern over India’s growing aggressive posturing.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said India’s ceasefire violations along the LoC have increased and civilians are being targeted.
He said our message of peace was unfortunately considered as our weakness by India.
The Foreign Minister condemned serious human rights violations by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir.
He said the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, besieged by nine hundred thousand Indian occupation forces, has become the largest militarized zone in the world today.
He said over eight million Kashmiris are still in captivity and victims of communication blackout for more than 200 days.
The Foreign Minister urged the UN Secretary General to play his role as the people of Pakistan and Kashmir are hopeful that the UN Security Council will soon give them legal, legitimate and democratic voting rights.