Foreign Office insisted on Thursday that US President Donald Trump requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to help in mediating in standoff with Iran and Pakistan will continue to urge all sides to resolve issues through dialogue. Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said this during his weekly media briefing in response of a question that President Trump during his recent meeting with Prime Minister Khan on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York had requested the latter to help in mediating between the US and Iran.
"PM Khan supports a negotiated and amicable solution to the US-Iran standoff. Pakistan will continue to urge all sides to resolve issues through dialogue," the spokesperson said. While in New York, the Prime Minister had stated that President Trump had asked him to help defuse tensions with Iran and that he had already spoken with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in an attempt to mediate.
To another question about the reason behind replacing Dr Maleeha Lodhi with Munir Akram as Pakistan's permanent representative to United Nations in New York, he said that Lodhi was replaced after completion of her tenure. Referring to the slander campaign against the newly appointed envoy to the UN, he said that unfortunately, there has been a slander campaign against the appointment of Ambassador Munir Akram, which is reprehensible.
"It must be noted that he [Akram] is a distinguished and experienced member of Foreign Service of Pakistan and an eminent diplomat. His contributions are internationally acknowledged and recognized," he said, adding that Ambassador Akram will assume his duties in New York soon. About the controversies around Prime Minister Khan's delayed flight from New York, the spokesperson insisted that the plane returned to the nearest airport after developing a technical fault. In this case, New York was the closest and most plausible destination, logistically, he added.
He said that the Prime Minister concluded a seven-day long successful visit to New York to attend the 74th session of the UNGA, which primarily focused on the horrifying human rights situation in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. When asked to comment on Indian media claims that in the recent meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman the Saudi Arabia has endorsed Indian position on Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson declined to comment on media reports.
He said that the Saudi position on Kashmir is clear and is reflected in the Joint Communiqué issued by the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir, of which Saudi Arabia is a very important member. "This communiqué is a testament of Muslim Ummah's position on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute," he added.
Asked as to why Pakistan was not able to table a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, he said that a lot of efforts are being made in this regard. "I would like to reiterate that the struggle for Jammu and Kashmir is a process and not an event. Our efforts will continue," he added.
To another query about the discriminatory policy of Twitter by suspending accounts on raising plight of Kashmiris, he said that the government has raised the issue with the Twitter administration. "We are awaiting their reply," he added.
Referring to the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir, he said that the Indian occupation forces in their recent acts of state terrorism have martyred more than 13 Kashmiris including Akhlaq Ahmad Khan, Yawar Ahmed Butt, Muhammad Shameem, Ulfat Altaf, Sajjad Ahmad Malik, Qamar Din, Javeed Rashid, Zahoor-ul Haq Butt, Osama Bin Javed, Zahid Hussain Sagar, Bilal Ahmed Dar, in Pulwama, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Ramban, and Kathua districts. There are reports of more deaths but due to complete communication blackout, the exact details are not coming out of the occupied valley, he added.
He said that the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir remains under siege and cut-off from the rest of the world for the 61st consecutive day, since the lockdown was imposed on 4th August 2019, as the Indian occupation forces continue to impose an unprecedented military lockdown and total clampdown of both road networks and all means of communications, which risk lives of the people.