Diplomatic brothers: Pakistan opposes Canadian interference in Saudi af airs

The quarrel may worsen, the kingdom was still “considering additional measures” against Canada: Riyadh

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Shamim Mehmood
Islamabad
Pakistan has diplomatically sided with Saudi Arabia as the diplomatic rift between the kingdom and Canada escalates over the North American country’s concerns over suppression of women and right’s activists in Saudia.
The Foreign Office (FO) Dr Muhammad Faisal spokesperson during the weekly press briefing said that Pakistan opposed those entities which interfered in the internal affairs of other countries in accordance with the United Nations resolution.
Pakistan supports the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, the FO said.
Dr Faisal said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have shared brotherly bilateral relations for a long time.
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday there was no room for mediation in the kingdom’s deepening diplomatic dispute with Canada, and that Ottawa knew what it needed to do to “fix its big mistake”.
“There is nothing to mediate. A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh.
In an indication that the quarrel may worsen, Jubeir said that the kingdom was still “considering additional measures” against Canada, but did not elaborate.
Saudi Arabia on Sunday froze new trade with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador in retaliation for Ottawa’s call to free arrested Saudi civil society activists.
It also ended state-backed educational and medical programmes in Canada, making plans to relocate tens of thousands of Saudi students and patients to other countries.
Canada last week said it was “gravely concerned” over a new wave of arrests of women and human rights campaigners in the kingdom, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi.
“We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists,” the foreign ministry tweeted on Friday.
Referring to growing Pak-Russia relations, Dr. Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan and Russia have been successful in building a strong partnership which is based on mutual respect, commonality of interest and convergence of views on important regional and global issues. The two countries have held joint editions of two military exercises in Pakistan in 2016 and in Russia in 2017. Pakistan Navy ship ASLAT visited port of St. Petersburg recently to participate in Russia’s Navy Day celebrations last month.
On a question regarding re-imposing of US sanctions on Iran, the Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan is examining the implications of these sanctions. However, Pakistan being a sovereign state reserves the right to pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests while respecting the international legal regime.
He told a questioner that Pakistan is ready to make all efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan supports an Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process.
Dr said that despite rampant Indian state terrorism, Kashmiris in the held territory observed a complete strike against Indian attempts to abrogate Article 35-A in an effort to strip Kashmiris of their permanent resident status. He termed it a complete violation of the numerous UNSC Resolutions and international law.
He said Indian forces killed twelve innocent Kashmiris last week in their brutal acts of violence. He expressed deep concern over reports of shifting of senior women Kashmiri leaders from Mandoli Jail to notorious Tihar Jail in New Delhi to exert additional psychological pressure on the families and to keep them away from scrutiny.
He said Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned on second of this month to condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control in Mandal Sector, resulting in the martyrdom of one innocent civilian. He said so far in 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 1400 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the martyrdom of 30 innocent civilians, while injuring 121 others.
On a question regarding reported increase in number of surveillance posts along Pakistan’s border by India, the Spokesperson said our armed forces are fully equipped and prepared to defend the motherland against any attempt including strengthening of surveillance.

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