To ensure investigation into cross border terrorist attack in Panjgur, Pakistan calls upon Iran, Spokesperson

Islamabad : Pakistan has called upon the Iranian authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into the cross border terrorist attack that took place in Panjgur district of Balochistan and bring the perpetrators to task.
The spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at her weekly news briefing in said the terrorists used the Iranian soil to target a convoy of security forces patrolling along Pakistan-Iran border. She said we expect Iran to ensure its territory is not used for cross border attacks in Pakistan.
The spokesperson said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. She said we strongly commit that our territory will not be used for undertaking cross border attacks in Iran and we expect the same from Iran.
She said the on-going visit of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardarito Davos, Switzerland to attend the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) being held under the theme, “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”from 16-20 January 2023.
The Foreign Minister participated in a number of WEF events including an event on the theme “We come in Peace: The Role of Business in Times of War” and a Panel discussion hosted by Google. At WEF, the Foreign Minister has presented Pakistan’s perspective on economic and social impact of the evolving geopolitical realities, and challenges for international peace and security. He has also highlighted the concerns of the developing countries on issues of climate change, food and energy security, and social vulnerabilities in times of high inflation, and slowing economic activity.
On the sidelines of the Forum, the Foreign Minister has held meetings with the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Vice Premier of China, Liu He; and Foreign Ministers of Spain, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Finland, and The Netherlands. During these meetings, bilateral and global issues of mutual interest were discussed. The Foreign Minister has also interacted with corporate executives, heads of international organizations and leading media and civil society personalities.

A parliamentary delegation from Belgium led by Senator Allessia Claes, Chairperson of Pakistan-Belgium Parliamentary Friendship Group, is currently on a visit to Pakistan from 16 to 21 January 2023.The National Assembly of Pakistan is hosting the delegation. This is the first parliamentary delegation of Belgium to Pakistan.
During the visit, the delegation will hold meetings with members of the Senate and the National Assembly of Pakistan. It will travel to Lahore and Karachi, and call on Governor Punjab and Chief Minister Sindh. The delegation will also visit flood affected areas in the Sindh province.

Federal Minister for Power, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, visited Belarus last week from 12-13 January 2023 for the Sixth Session of Pakistan-Belarus Joint Economic Commission (JEC) held in Minsk. The Belarusian side was led by Minister of Energy Viktor Mikhailovich Karankevich. The two sides reviewed the ongoing bilateral cooperation in trade, industry, agriculture, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, science & technology, education and culture. It was agreed to further enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors, including textiles, auto sector, agricultural equipment and mining. The two sides signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Tourism Promotion and on cooperation between Museums of Pakistan and Belarus. On 13 January, the Minister of Power held a meeting with Foreign Minister of Belarus, Sergei Aleinik.

Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan is currently in Brussels on an official visit. The visit is a capstone to his tenure as Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg. During the last few days, the Foreign Secretary has met with leaders and high-level officials of the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg to bid them farewell and discuss issues of bilateral significance.

The Foreign Secretary has held meetings with Senator Allessia Claes, Chair of Pakistan-Belgium Parliamentary Friendship Group and with Minister Jan Jambon, President of the Flanders Region of Belgium. He met with Secretary General Sannino of the European External Action Service; Secretary General Gentzis of Belgium; and Secretary General Olinger at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg.

The Foreign Secretaryhas also held meetings with senior European Union officials including Simon Mordue Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to President of European Council; and Fernando Guimaraes Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the European Commission.

The meetings of the 8th session of Pakistan-Russia Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation are underway in Islamabad since yesterday. From the Pakistan side, the IGC is Co-Chairedby Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, while the Russian delegation is led by Energy Minister, Nicolai Shulginov.

IGC is a comprehensive bilateral mechanism that provides a platform for meaningful dialogue on substantive issues of mutual cooperation, including trade, investment, industry, railways, and energy. The IGC was last held in Russia in November 2021. The ongoing session of IGC will conclude on 20th January 2023.

Pakistan and China have agreed to temporarily reopen the Khunjerab Border in two phases. In the first phase, the Khunjerab Border will open today for two days (19-20 January 2023) and again from end-January 2023 to early February 2023, after the Chinese Spring Festival.

The Khunjerab Border between Pakistan and China remains closed annually during the winter months. The Chinese side has agreed to Pakistani request for temporary re-opening of the border to facilitate local traders. We appreciate the special efforts of border officials on both sides to ensure smooth border operations despite inclement weather conditions.

During the last week, Indian oppression in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) continued unabated. The Indian forces continued to carry out cordon and search operations in different parts of Rajouri, Poonch and Reasi districts, harassing the local population.

In a disturbing event, two Kashmiri youth were killed in a fake encounter in Budgam district after they were dislodged by the Indian troops from a vehicle and shot dead on spot. A 75-year-old under-trial prisoner, Mohammed Maqbool Khan, died in custody after he was tortured in Kupwara jail. He and his three sons were detained in August last year on ¬¬¬trumped up charges.

For the last one month, a family in Kunan village of Kupwara has been desperately looking for the whereabouts of their son and brother Abdul Rashid Dar. A mini truck driver, Dar went missing on 15 December after he was whisked away by Army soldiers from 41 Rashtriya Rifles unit. His mother, Khera Begum, has demanded knowledge on Rashid’s whereabouts or at least a proof of life.
The case of Rashid Dar, though tragic, is not unique. Over the last three decades, hundreds have gone missing while in the custody of Indian security forces. According to credible counts, some 8000 persons have gone missing in IIOJK since 1989.
Pakistan will continue to raise its voice on the continuing grave human rights abuses in IIOJK. It will also continue to extend unstinted moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their quest for self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

I will conclude with an upcoming visit¬ announcement. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will undertake an official visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 25th January 2023 to attend the 26th meeting of Council of Ministers (COM) of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The theme of the event is “Year of Strengthening Connectivity”, an area of special interest and significance for Pakistan.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs will address the Council of Ministers and hold bilateral meetings with participating Ministers and other dignitaries on the sidelines of the event.

As the policy making forum of ECO, the Council of Ministers approves the annual workplan of the Organization. As a founding member, Pakistan remains strongly committed to the objectives of ECO which aims to promote effective regional cooperation, with focus on communications, trade, culture and connectivity.