Pakistan condemns Houthi attack on Saudi airport, vows to stand by Kingdom

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Damage of Saudi Arabia's Abha airport is seen after it was attacked by Yemen's Houthi group in Abha, Saudi Arabia June 12, 2019 - SPA
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Photo of the missile hit the arrivals hall of Abha airport, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday 12 June 2019 . (SPA)
Updated 13 June 2019
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Pakistan condemns Houthi attack on Saudi airport, vows to stand by Kingdom

  • 26 people injured by missile strike on civilian target in southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday
  • Arab Coalition fighting in support of Yemen’s government says incident could be considered a war crime

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has condemned a missile attack carried out by Houthis on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that left 26 people injured.
The Houthis said on their media channels that they fired a cruise missile at Abha airport, which is located about 200 kilometers north of the border with Yemen and serves domestic and regional routes.
“Pakistan strongly condemns the missile attack by Houthi militants at Abha airport in Saudi Arabia,” the Foreign Office said. “Pakistan reiterates its full support and solidarity with the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its security and territorial integrity.”
The attack follows armed drone strikes last month on two oil-pumping stations in the Kingdom, for which the Houthis claimed responsibility. Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering the attack.

The Arab Coalition fighting in support of Yemen’s government said the strike on Abha airport could be considered a war crime, and that it would take “urgent and timely” action in response.
The UAE, Bahrain and Egypt also condemned the airport attack.


PM Khan ‘will try to raise conscience of the world,’ at UN — spokesperson

Updated 17 September 2019
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PM Khan ‘will try to raise conscience of the world,’ at UN — spokesperson

  • There will be a planned protest outside UN offices after PM Khan speech at UNGA, says spokesman
  • President of Azad Kashmir, political leaders expect Khan will stress human rights violations in Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson, Dr. Muhammad Faisal, told Arab News that Prime Minister Imran Khan would make efforts to ‘raise the conscience’ of world leaders against a continuing curfew in Indian-administered Kashmir, at his speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session on September 27 in New York.
On Aug. 5, India flooded the Kashmir valley with troops, imposed a communications lockdown and abrogated a historic clause in its constitution that gave partial autonomy to the Muslim-majority region. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which both own in part but claim in full. 
In response to India’s abrogation, Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties, suspended bilateral trade and made appeals to the UN and international community to condemn the move as a violation of international law.
“We are not expecting that India will lift the clampdown after this speech, but we will try to raise the conscience of world leaders” the spokesperson said and added that the UNGA was not a decision-making forum, but that there would be a large protest outside UN offices.
“On the sidelines, the PM will also meet contact group on Jammu and Kashmir on September 25,” he said.
Referring to “multiple reports” by human rights organizations, Dr. Faisal said the Prime Minister would demand that major global players take note of human rights abuses in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“PM Khan...will demand from international community to take notice of grave human rights violations there which are mentioned in multiple reports by different human rights organizations including UNHRC,” Dr. Faisal told Arab News.
In a letter to the UN Security Council dated Aug. 13, Pakistan had asked for an urgent meeting on Jammu and Kashmir, and it had taken the matter up during its meeting on Aug. 16.
President of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, told Arab News that even though the Prime Minister had raised the Kashmir issue at the UN before, the “aggressive” actions of India had made even graver human rights violations to address, as well as the potential of a bigger conflict erupting in the region.
“When Pakistani PM will speak, he will challenge the international community to act and avert this war started by India, which could turn into a bigger conflict that can be disastrous for the whole region,” Khan said.
A senior leader of the opposition and a parliamentarian from PML-N, Ahsan Iqbal, told Arab News that India’s abrogation and curfew in Kashmir was a “human rights catastrophe,” which should be powerfully highlighted by Imran Khan during his UNGA address.
“He should also ask world community to play active role to compel India to lift the curfew immediately,” he said. 
The UN Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of Muslim Kashmir.
A former foreign secretary who has also served as Pakistani High Commissioner to India, Salman Bashir, said that many world leaders and multilateral forums had raised serious concerns about the worsening human rights situation in Kashmir, which Prime Minister Khan could use to his advantage to put pressure on the Indian government.
“He should also highlight Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability in the region, especially Afghanistan,” Bashir told Arab News.
India upholds that the abrogation of the constitutional clause that rescinded the autonomy of Kashmir is New Delhi’s internal matter.