US Congressmen’s letter to Blinken ‘contains distorted facts’: Pakistan

News Desk
Friday, May 26, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Thursday that “distorted facts” were shared with Secretary of State Antony Binken by the US congressmen, adding all actions taken in connection with May 9 events were in line with the Constitution.

More than 60 members of the US Congress had asked Blinken to exert pressure on the Pakistani government in order to address the human rights situation in the country.The letter, coauthored by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, was signed by 65 other lawmakers “deeply troubled by the democratic backsliding and human rights abuses” in Pakistan following the tragic events of May 9 during which protesters attacked military and government installations.

The deadly protests triggered by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest, took the lives of at least 10 people and injured several others, with the authorities not only arresting the party leaders but thousands of party workers as well.

“The letter sent by the US congressmen to Antony Blinken contained distorted facts,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zehra Baloch said at her weekly news briefing, adding the rights and properties of all citizens were being protected in Pakistan.“All actions regarding the events of May 9 are being taken in accordance with the Constitution and laws,” she added.

Speaking about the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Ms Baloch said Pakistan hadn’t sent any letter to its missions regarding the moot.

She said Pakistan categorically rejected all propaganda such as New Delhi’s move to politicise an international forum. However, Pakistan will keep raising the Kashmir issue at every global forum and continue to support the struggle of Kashmiris for their rights, she added.

“Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory. The dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for over seven decades,” the spokesperson said.

She added holding the G20 meeting in a disputed territory was a betrayal.“Tourism and development cannot be promoted by holding the local population hostage and denying them their rights and freedoms. By holding the G20 meeting in Srinagar, India cannot hide the reality of its illegal occupation of IIOJK and oppression of the Kashmiri people,” it added.

The spokesperson also appreciated China, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Egypt and Oman for not attending the G20 meeting in IIOJK.Ms Baloch said these countries have stood for international law and for the primacy of the UN charter.