Pakistan: FO rejects India’s ‘unwarranted remarks’ on FM Bilawal and German counterpart’s joint press conference


Pakistan has rejected the “unwarranted remarks” by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ (EAM) official spokesperson regarding Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s joint press conference with his German counterpart in Berlin wherein the two spoke about the United Nations’ role in resolving the Kashmir dispute, according to a press release by the Foreign Office (FO) on Sunday.

In the press conference, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had said: “Germany also has a role and responsibility with regard to the situation in Kashmir. Therefore, we support intensively the engagement of the United Nations, to find peaceful resolutions in the region.”

Reacting to her remarks, EAM spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the global community had a responsibility to “call out international terrorism, especially of a cross-border nature” in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

“The UN Security Council and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) are still pursuing Pakistan-based terrorists involved in the horrific 26/11 attacks,” he said. “When states do not recognise such dangers, either because of self-interest or indifference, they undermine the cause of peace, not promote it.”

Responding to Bagchi’s “gratuitous remarks”, the FO said they had “exposed the desperation of a country that finds itself increasingly isolated on the issue of its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and the reprehensible human rights violations being perpetrated by its ruthless occupation force in the occupied territory”.

The press release said the two foreign ministers had highlighted the centrality of the Kashmir dispute and agreed that there was a role and responsibility of the international community as well as a need for intensified efforts from the UN, with regard to a peaceful and just resolution of the issue.

The FO said that India’s “proclivity” to hoist the “bogey of cross-border terrorism” whenever there was a call for increased scrutiny of its actions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK) was “well known”.

“It must, however, realise that no amount of obfuscation will change the reality of its repression in IIOJK. India’s credentials as a purveyor of state terrorism in IIOJK and as an instigator of cross-border terrorism in Pakistan need no reiteration.

“Hollow denials and evasion of responsibility will no longer cover up India’s mischievous strategy of posing as a ‘victim’ of terrorism while shifting blame elsewhere,” the FO said while rebuffing Bagchi’s remarks.

On the other hand, it added that Pakistan’s contribution to the cause of counterterrorism was globally acknowledged.

It also pointed out that Bagchi’s allusion to the FATF characterised India’s “bias, hostility and partiality” towards Pakistan and “corroborates Pakistan’s long-standing view that India has been politicising FATF and trying to misuse its membership of FATF to target Pakistan.”

The FO called on the FATF to take note of India’s “irresponsible statement”.

“Rather than making preposterous remarks about statements made by foreign ministers, India would do well to introspect, address the international community’s valid concerns and mend its conduct in the IIOJK.

“Pakistan urges the international community, particularly human rights and humanitarian organisations to condemn India’s barbaric state-terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and ensure that Kashmiris are given their right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions and as per their own wishes,” the press release reads.

On Monday, the FO had “categorically rejected” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s remarks insinuating that Pakistan was involved in “international terrorism”.

Responding to his “unfounded remarks”, the FO had said they were “yet another manifestation of the Indian leaders’ obsession to concoct facts with respect to terrorism for misleading the international community and to point fingers at neighbours in a bid to mask India’s own well-known credentials as a state-sponsor of terrorism and a serial violator of human rights.”