Pakistan on Thursday urged India to allow visits by neutral international observers Kashmir and assessing the situation on the ground through free interaction with the Kashmiri people.
Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri made comments during a weekly briefing here.
Representatives from several countries, including member states of the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) visited Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday and Thursday to assess the situation on the ground in light of efforts being made to restore normalcy by strengthening democratically elected local bodies.
India has informed Pakistan that it does not have a standi locus for commenting on India’s internal affairs, stating that the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has been and will remain an integral part of the country.
Chaudhri said India should allow UN observers, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission and the international media to visit Kashmir and assess the situation on the ground through free interactions with the Kashmiri people.
Earlier this month, Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said India wanted normal neighborly relations with Pakistan in an environment free from terror, hostility and violence.
On a question about India prohibiting Sikh Yatris from visiting Pakistan for religious purposes, he said Pakistan is giving maximum facilitation to Sikh Yatris from all over the world, including India, to visit their religious sites in Pakistan.
We believe that India should also facilitate Sikh Yatris to visit their religious sites in Pakistan, said Chaudhri.
On Wednesday, India refused permission for some 600 Sikh pilgrims to visit Pakistan, citing security reasons and the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Chaudhri said that the Exchange of Good Practices workshop in dealing with the COVID Pandemic and Way Forward was held for SAARC member countries plus Mauritius and Seychelles in a virtual format.
In line with its policy of enhancing regional and international cooperation in dealing with the pandemic, Pakistan is also participating in the workshop and sharing good practices with regional countries, he said.
Responding to a question about the Afghanistan peace process, the spokesman said Pakistan wanted the progress made so far towards lasting peace in Afghanistan to be sustained and built on it. He said all stakeholders in Afghanistan should take the opportunity to achieve long-term peace.
He said the head of the Massoud Afghanistan Foundation, Ahmad Wali Massoud, along with his delegation, who arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday, met with Prime Minister Imran Khan who reiterated his old position that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a political solution is one- only way forward.
The Prime Minister also underlined that all parties in Afghanistan must work to reduce the violence leading to a ceasefire and said that Pakistan will support whatever the Afghan people agree on the future of their country.
Chaudhri also said Prime Minister Khan is likely to visit Sri Lanka later this month. He said the two sides were currently working on program elements while still paying attention to protocols related to COVID-19 health.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standards staff; other content was generated automatically from syndicated feeds.)