Pakistan makes strong demarche to India on the worsening situation in (IIOJK) since its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019

The Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) in Islamabad was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today and conveyed Government of Pakistan’s unequivocal rejection of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK), which breached international law, UN Charter and the 4th Geneva Convention as well as several resolutions of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. A strong protest was registered over the series of illegitimate measures taken by Indian order to unilaterally alter the internationally recognized disputed status of the territory and to accentuate its brutal military occupation.

It was noted that even after the passage of three years since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, there is no let-up in the strong-armed military siege of the occupied territory and the humanitarian and human rights situation continues to exacerbate. Extrajudicial killings, detentions and arrests, fake cases and bogus trials under the ambit of draconian laws and a compromised judicial system have become a norm in the IIOJK.

Pakistan’s categorical rejection of the report of the so-called “Delimitation Commission” was also reiterated. It was underscored that India cannot unilaterally alter the demographic composition of IIOJK under the garb of fake electoral reforms.

The Cd’A was reminded of Pakistan’s consistent demand that the Government of India must reverse its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019; immediately lift its inhuman military siege in IIOJK; stop its illegal measures to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory; cease extra-judicial killings of Kashmiri youth in fake encounters and cordon-and-search operations; release the illegally detained Kashmiri youth and political leadership; annul Hurriyat leader Mr. Yasin Malik’s fallacious life-sentence under fictitious charges and withdraw all other fabricated cases that have been mischievously spun around him; withdraw over 900,000 occupation troops from IIOJK; and let Kashmiris exercise their inalienable right to self-determination through a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

Pakistan also once again calls upon the international community, international human rights organizations and particularly the United Nations and its human rights machinery to take cognizance of the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJK, hold India accountable for its reprehensible conduct, 

and ensure a just resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri killed in US drone strike in Afghanistan: Biden

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US strike in Afghanistan over the weekend, American President Joe Biden said on Monday.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who had a $25 million bounty on his head, helped coordinate the Sept 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the United States carried out a drone strike in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday morning at 6:18am local time.

“Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “We never back down.”

US intelligence determined with “high confidence” that the man killed was Zawahiri, a senior administration official told reporters. No other casualties occurred.

“Zawahiri continued to pose an active threat to US persons, interests and national security,” the official said on a conference call. “His death deals a significant blow to al Qaeda and will degrade the group’s ability to operate.”

There were rumors of Zawahiri’s death several times in recent years, and he was long reported to have been in poor health.

His death raises questions about whether Zawahiri received sanctuary from the Taliban following their takeover of Kabul in August 2021. The official said senior Taliban officials were aware of his presence in the city.

The drone attack is the first known US strike inside Afghanistan since US troops and diplomats left the country in August 2021.

In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that a strike took place and strongly condemned it, calling it a violation of “international principles.”

The senior US official said finding Zawahiri was the result of persistent counterterrorism work. The United States identified this year that Zawahiri’s wife, daughter and her children had relocated to a safe house in Kabul, then identified that Zawahiri was there as well, the official said.

“Once Zawahiri arrived at the location, we are not aware of him ever leaving the safe house,” the official said. He was identified multiple times on the balcony, where he was ultimately struck. He continued to produce videos from the house and some may be released after his death, the official said.

In the last few weeks, Biden convened officials to scrutinise the intelligence. He was updated throughout May and June and was briefed on July 1 on a proposed operation by intelligence leaders. On July 25, he received an updated report and authorised the strike once an opportunity was available.

A loud explosion echoed through Kabul early Sunday morning.

“A house was hit by a rocket in Sherpoor. There were no casualties as the house was empty,” Abdul Nafi Takor, spokesman of the interior ministry, said earlier.

One Taliban source, requesting anonymity, said there had been reports of at least one drone flying over Kabul that morning.

With other senior al Qaeda members, Zawahiri is believed to have plotted the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole naval vessel in Yemen which killed 17 US sailors and injured more than 30 others, the Rewards for Justice website said.

He was indicted in the United States for his role in the August 7, 1998, bombi