UN report on Indian HR violations has breathed new life in Kashmir dispute — Qureshi

The main thrust of the report — the UN’s first — is devoted to the severe repression employed by the occupation forces and other security forces against a majority Muslim population in the Kashmir valley and its environs. (AP/File)
Updated 01 October 2018

UN report on Indian HR violations has breathed new life in Kashmir dispute — Qureshi

UNITED NATIONS: The blistering report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir has revived interest in the lingering dispute at the international level, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said while giving impressions of the intensive round of talks he had with his counterparts from around the world at the United Nations.
“There was perceptible difference in their attitude toward Kashmir as the report focuses on the humanitarian aspect of the dispute,” Qureshi told reporters as he wound up his 6-day visit to New York as leader of the Pakistan delegation to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. 
The main thrust of the report — the UN’s first — is devoted to the severe repression employed by the occupation forces and other security forces against a majority Muslim population in the Kashmir valley and its environs. 
“The continuing human tragedy in occupied Kashmir definitely struck a sympathetic cord among world leaders,” Qureshi said, as he prepared to leave for Washington where he was set to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an effort to rebuild US-Pakistan relations. 
The evidenced-based report on the brutalities of the Indian security forces in Kashmir had, in fact, endorsed what Pakistan has been telling international community about the situation there, he said. 
The foreign minister said he had 54 interactions with delegates to the UNGA, including 22 bilateral meetings, and 11 multilateral meeting packed in his six-days here. 
“I presented Pakistan’s case to my counterparts as representative of the new government,” Qureshi said, adding that one of his priorities was to reconnect Pakistan with nations that previous government virtually ignored.
He thanked Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi for her leadership in preparing an imaginative program for his visit and praised Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, who is accompanying him, as a competent and conscientious diplomat. 
The foreign minister said he was glad to see that Pakistan was looked at with respect for its positive role at the United Nations, especially as a leading troop contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations. He said Guterres described Pakistan as a “privileged partner of the UN.”
The foreign minister he took the opportunity to draw his attention the jingoistic rhetoric from New Delhi, and asked the Secretary-General to warn India against embarking on any misadventure against Pakistan. The UN chief is due to visit India next week. 
Responding to a question, whether he would try to enlist US help when he meets Secretary Pompeo, Qureshi warned that Pakistan’s armed forces, backed by the entire nation, would give a befitting reply to India if such a situation arose.
Qureshi said he found a lot of interest among the top diplomats at the UN he met about the policies and objectives of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s policies and objectives. “They wanted to know a lot more about him,” he said.
As regards, Aafia Siddiqui, the jailed Pakistani neuroscientist, the foreign minister said he would raise her case with US authorities and seek her release. At the same time, he pointed out that US has its own laws but every effort would be made to find a way to end her incarceration.


PIA resumes UAE flights with new coronavirus screening rules

Updated 23 sec ago

PIA resumes UAE flights with new coronavirus screening rules

  • Passengers will have to get tested 48 hours prior to departure and present a negative report at check-in, PIA says
  • PIA has been operating one-way flights to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in the Emirates but now has permission to resume regular operations

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, on Thursday resumed regular flight operations to the United Arab Emirates with new rules to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The rate of COVID-19 cases has been rising fast in Pakistan, with 4,983 deaths and 240,848 infections as of Thursday morning. 

“Now PIA passengers will be able to travel from Pakistan to Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and vice versa, through the airline’s regular flights,” the PIA spokesperson said in a statement.

However, he said passengers would now be required to get tested for coronavirus 48 hours prior to flight departure and a negative test report would have to be presented at the time of check-in. Passengers would also be required to fill a health declaration form online.

PIA has been operating one-way relief flights to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in the Emirates but now had permission to operate regular flights again, the statement said.

“Passengers can book and purchase their tickets through PIA Offices, Corporate website and its travel agents,” PIA said.

Earlier this month UAE airline Emirates resumed flights to Pakistan after a brief suspension but made coronavirus clearance obligatory for all passengers, including asking that passengers from Pakistan carry a negative COVID-19 report from a laboratory approved by the airline.