March 2008 News

OIC finds fault with India on Kashmir: FO

12 March 2008
The News International
Mariana Baabar

ISLAMABAD: Spokesman says Pak HC in New Delhi in touch with Indian government over brutal killing of Khalid Mehmood Thursday, March 13, 2008 By Mariana Baabar ISLAMABAD: For the first time, Pakistan will not be represented by the head of the government at the OIC Summit in Dakar, Senegal, and instead it will be caretaker Foreign Minister Inamul Haq who will attend the summit. The summit is being held on March 13-14. Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan, who is already in Dakar to attend the ministerial meeting, was present when the OIC Secretary General Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Chiekh Tidiane Gadio, Foreign Minister of Senegal, told the inaugural session that 'Kashmir dispute was a pressing and burning political issue that the Ummah was confronted with. The meeting unanimously adopted resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and reform of the United Nations and expansion of UN Security Council membership, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq told the weekly media briefing here on Wednesday. The spokesman said the OIC ministerial meeting regretted that India had not allowed the OIC fact-finding mission to visit occupied Jammu and Kashmir despite the fact that Pakistan had allowed the mission to visit Azad Jammu and Kashmir. 'While expressing deep concern over the alarming increase in the indiscriminate use of force and gross violations of human rights committed against the innocent Kashmiris by India, the resolution on Jammu and Kashmir called for the expeditious implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the OIC mission, led by the secretary general's special representative on Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir in March 2007,' read the resolution. The resolution made mention of the fact that the OIC's demand for adequate representation in the Security Council was in keeping with the significant demographic and political weight of the OIC countries. 'Underlining the importance of the negotiated solution with the broadest possible agreement, it called for constructive consultations between UN member states to agree on a common basis and framework for further progress. While rejecting artificial deadlines, it reaffirmed that a decision on Security Council reform should be made by consensus,' the resolution added. When questioned if the OIC was demanding representation in the UN on the basis of religion, the foreign office spokesman replied: 'It is a comprehensive proposal and the OIC has more than 50 members, none of whom are represented permanently in the Security Council. The OIC speaks on behalf of the Muslim countries.' The spokesman said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the time being had no plans to summon the Indian high commissioner over the brutal killing of a Pakistani national Khalid Mehmood in an Indian jail. 'Our mission in New Delhi is in touch with the Indian government over the matter and we are demanding a full record of the case. So far, India has not provided us the details and once we receive the comprehensive report we will take the next step,' the spokesman remarked. To a number of queries, the spokesman said that Pakistan wanted to remind the Indian authorities of their obligation to ensure humane treatment of all Pakistani prisoners in their custody. 'Our efforts for early repatriation of Pakistani prisoners will continue. We are in contact with the government of India and have asked them to specify the charges under which the deceased was detained, explain the circumstances of his death and provide any other relevant information,' the spokesman said. Earlier, the spokesman told The News that on February 13, authorities in Gaourgoan Jail contacted the Pakistan High Commission and told them that relatives of Khalid Mehmood should be informed that he was dead and that his body should be taken back. 'We have absolutely no record of Khalid Mehmood and neither is he on the list of about 450 Pakistani prisoners who are known to be in Indian jails. The family of the deceased also never approached the Pakistani mission nor the Pakistan government over the matter,' he added. He said the family of the deceased went to India and the government there allowed them visits. 'Even on their return, the family, with which we grieve and offer our profound condolences, did not get in touch with us and give us the details. At this stage, we do not want to blame the family for anything. It is easy to blame Pakistan's mission and the Foreign Office, but how were we to know if no one approached us?' asked the spokesman. He said the incident had dampened the goodwill generated by the recent release of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh and had also negated the spirit of the recent Pakistan-India agreement on the establishment of a Judicial Committee on Prisoners. To a query, the Foreign Office spokesman said that 23 out of 36 Pakistanis held in Iran had reached Pakistan. We have conveyed the names of the remaining 13 persons to the Iranian foreign ministry yesterday. The Foreign Office continues to be in touch with the Iranian Embassy in Islamabad and Iranian authorities in Tehran and Zahidan, he said. To a question, the spokesman said there had been no proposal or instructions by the government to diplomats to do away with CD number plates and use the ordinary white ones. To a specific question whether the Americans were using white number plates, he replied: 'I am not aware of the US but many people are using white number plates.' The spokesman said that President Abdullah Gul of Turkey called President Pervez Musharraf last night and congratulated him for the successful holding of elections and also condemned the killing of many innocent people in the suicide attack in Lahore. Gul also reaffirmed Turkey's solidarity with the people and the government of Pakistan. NNI adds: The Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan was committed to the gas pipeline from Iran to meet its energy needs. Muhammad Sadiq said Pakistan would welcome the Chinese participation in the multi-billion project. He told another questioner that Pakistan had not handed over anyone to the United States for detention at Guantanamo Bay. The spokesman told a questioner that best efforts were being made to locate and recover the missing Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan Tariq Azizuddin, who was kidnapped last month in Pakistan's tribal region while on his way to Kabul. For the first time, Pakistan will not be represented by the head of the government at the OIC Summit in Dakar, Senegal, and instead it will be caretaker Foreign Minister Inamul Haq who will attend the summit. The summit is being held on March 13-14. Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan, who is already in Dakar to attend the ministerial meeting, was present when the OIC Secretary General Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Chiekh Tidiane Gadio, Foreign Minister of Senegal, told the inaugural session that 'Kashmir dispute was a pressing and burning political issue that the Ummah was confronted with. The meeting unanimously adopted resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and reform of the United Nations and expansion of UN Security Council membership, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq told the weekly media briefing here on Wednesday. The spokesman said the OIC ministerial meeting regretted that India had not allowed the OIC fact-finding mission to visit occupied Jammu and Kashmir despite the fact that Pakistan had allowed the mission to visit Azad Jammu and Kashmir. 'While expressing deep concern over the alarming increase in the indiscriminate use of force and gross violations of human rights committed against the innocent Kashmiris by India, the resolution on Jammu and Kashmir called for the expeditious implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the OIC mission, led by the secretary general's special representative on Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir in March 2007,' read the resolution. The resolution made mention of the fact that the OIC's demand for adequate representation in the Security Council was in keeping with the significant demographic and political weight of the OIC countries. 'Underlining the importance of the negotiated solution with the broadest possible agreement, it called for constructive consultations between UN member states to agree on a common basis and framework for further progress. While rejecting artificial deadlines, it reaffirmed that a decision on Security Council reform should be made by consensus,' the resolution added. When questioned if the OIC was demanding representation in the UN on the basis of religion, the foreign office spokesman replied 'It is a comprehensive proposal and the OIC has more than 50 members, none of whom are represented permanently in the Security Council. The OIC speaks on behalf of the Muslim countries.' The spokesman said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the time being had no plans to summon the Indian high commissioner over the brutal killing of a Pakistani national Khalid Mehmood in an Indian jail. 'Our mission in New Delhi is in touch with the Indian government over the matter and we are demanding a full record of the case. So far, India has not provided us the details and once we receive the comprehensive report we will take the next step,' the spokesman remarked. To a number of queries, the spokesman said that Pakistan wanted to remind the Indian authorities of their obligation to ensure humane treatment of all Pakistani prisoners in their custody. 'Our efforts for early repatriation of Pakistani prisoners will continue. We are in contact with the government of India and have asked them to specify the charges under which the deceased was detained, explain the circumstances of his death and provide any other relevant information,' the spokesman said. Earlier, the spokesman told The News that on February 13, authorities in Gaourgoan Jail contacted the Pakistan High Commission and told them that relatives of Khalid Mehmood should be informed that he was dead and that his body should be taken back. 'We have absolutely no record of Khalid Mehmood and neither is he on the list of about 450 Pakistani prisoners who are known to be in Indian jails. The family of the deceased also never approached the Pakistani mission nor the Pakistan government over the matter,' he added. He said the family of the deceased went to India and the government there allowed them visits. 'Even on their return, the family, with which we grieve and offer our profound condolences, did not get in touch with us and give us the details. At this stage, we do not want to blame the family for anything. It is easy to blame Pakistan's mission and the Foreign Office, but how were we to know if no one approached us?' asked the spokesman. He said the incident had dampened the goodwill generated by the recent release of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh and had also negated the spirit of the recent Pakistan-India agreement on the establishment of a Judicial Committee on Prisoners. To a query, the Foreign Office spokesman said that 23 out of 36 Pakistanis held in Iran had reached Pakistan. We have conveyed the names of the remaining 13 persons to the Iranian foreign ministry yesterday. The Foreign Office continues to be in touch with the Iranian Embassy in Islamabad and Iranian authorities in Tehran and Zahidan, he said. To a question, the spokesman said there had been no proposal or instructions by the government to diplomats to do away with CD number plates and use the ordinary white ones. To a specific question whether the Americans were using white number plates, he replied 'I am not aware of the US but many people are using white number plates.' The spokesman said that President Abdullah Gul of Turkey called President Pervez Musharraf last night and congratulated him for the successful holding of elections and also condemned the killing of many innocent people in the suicide attack in Lahore. Gul also reaffirmed Turkey's solidarity with the people and the government of Pakistan. NNI adds The Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan was committed to the gas pipeline from Iran to meet its energy needs. Muhammad Sadiq said Pakistan would welcome the Chinese participation in the multi-billion project. He told another questioner that Pakistan had not handed over anyone to the United States for detention at Guantanamo Bay. The spokesman told a questioner that best efforts were being made to locate and recover the missing Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan Tariq Azizuddin, who was kidnapped last month in Pakistan's tribal region while on his way to Kabul.

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