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SOURCE: APP

Pakistan on Friday reiterated its call for India to be held accountable for its unabated human rights abuses in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) where over 7,000 Kashmiris have so far died in the custody of Indian forces during the last three decades.

Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, at her weekly press briefing, highlighted the reported death of a Kashmiri civilian at a police station in IIOJK’s Pulwama district.

“This is not the first incident of its kind as over the last three decades the number of custodial deaths in IIOJK has exceeded 7,000. The perpetrators of these crimes should be held accountable,” she said reaffirming Pakistan’s continuous political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiri people for the just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions

Highlighting Pakistan’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2025-2026 with the overwhelming support of 182 members of the UN General Assembly, she thanked the members, particularly Asia Pacific Group for their confidence.

She told the media that at the Council, Pakistan would play its role in the peaceful resolution of disputes, opposing the resort to unilateral force, combating terrorism in all forms and manifestations, supporting UN peacekeeping efforts, resolution fo regional and international crises, and promoting democracy, transparency, and accountability.

Spokesperson Baloch strongly condemned the horrific bombing of Israeli forces on the UN-run school sheltering Palestinian refugees that led to multiple deaths of mostly women and children.

“This attack is another crime in a series of attacks against civilians including an IDP Camp last week that resulted in the deaths of 45 Palestinians. The deliberate targeting of civilian population and facilities is a grave violation of international law and constitutes war crimes.”

Condemning the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by hundreds of Israeli extremists, she said it was the responsibility of the occupation authorities to respect religious sites. We reiterate our call for an urgent and unconditional ceasefire to the massacre of civilians and hold Israel accountable for its crimes, she added.

She told the media that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar would undertake a one-day visit to Istanbul to attend the extraordinary meeting of the D8 Council of Foreign Ministers on the situation in Gaza.

The D8 foreign ministers will deliberate upon the shared responsibility of the International community to bring an urgent and unconditional ceasefire and an end to the inhumane and unjustified war on the people of Gaza.

The deputy prime minister will present Pakistan’s stance on the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the urgency of the unconditional ceasefire, lifting of the siege and humanitarian relief for the Palestinian people.

The spokesperson informed the media about the passing of the Tunisian Ambassador in Islamabad Borhene El Kamel, due to prolonged illness, and expressed condolences and sympathies with the Tunisian government the grieved family.

Regarding Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s ongoing five-day visit to China, she said that following the delegation-level talks with Premier Li Qiang earlier on the day, both sides had signed 23 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to deepen bilateral cooperation in multiple areas including transport infrastructure, industry, energy, agriculture, media, health, water, socioeconomic development, and other areas of mutual interest.

During the talks, the two sides expressed unwavering support for each other’s core issues and reiterated their commitment to the high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the timely completion of ongoing projects.

Both sides also resolved to protect the CPEC from detractors and adversaries with Prime Minister Shehbaz PM reaffirming commitment to ensure the safety and security of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan.