PR No. 108 Islamabad: September 19, 2016

The Italian Minister for Defence, Mrs. Roberta Pinotti has said that her country opposes use of force and lethal weapons against peaceful protestors in Kashmir and said that it cannot be allowed to go on. She further said that Italy will apprise the international community about what is going on in Indian held Kashmir.

The Italian Minister for Defence expressed these views when she along-with a delegation called on President Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Monday.

President Mamnoon Hussain called upon the international community to urge India to immediately put an end to atrocities against innocent Kashmiris and impress upon India to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with United Nations resolutions for durable peace in the region. Expressing concern over Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir, the President condemned violation of human rights by Indian armed forces and use of brutal means to suppress the peaceful struggle of the Kashmiris for attainment of their rights. The President noted that ongoing Indian atrocities have left over 100 Kashmiris martyred and more than 700 have received eye injuries due to use of pellet guns which has resulted in blinding of over 160 people including children and women. President Mamnoon Hussain also recalled that more than 100,000 kashmiris have lost their lives since 1989 and 10,000 women have been raped by the Indian forces during peaceful struggle of the Kashmiris for their right of self-determination.

The President apprised that India has rejected the UN High Commissioner’s demand for fact finding mission for Kashmir and has also not responded to a similar demand from OIC. The President further informed that India has also closed down all offices of Amnesty International on raising voice against its atrocities in Kashmir.

President Mamnoon Hussain said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will forcefully raise the issue of occupied Jammu and Kashmir during his address to the United Nations General Assembly and will impress upon the world community to play its role in resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

The President said that Pakistan wants peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues with India, including Jammu and Kashmir dispute adding for this consistent, uninterrupted and result-oriented dialogue between the two countries is the key. The President noted that the internationally recognized unresolved dispute of Jammu and Kashmir remains the root cause of tensions in South Asia for more than 68 years as Kashmiris have been struggling for their right of self determination since 1947.

President Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan is the biggest victim of terrorism and underscored that it is committed to eradicating terrorism and extremism from its soil through National Action Plan and operation Zarb-e-Azb. The President said that Pakistan desires peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and has taken measures for better border management to avoid undesirable incidents and to promote peace.

The President noted that Pakistan and Italy share views on a number of regional and global issues and hoped that both countries will continue to work closely on all issues of mutual interest. The President expressed confidence that MoU on Defence Cooperation between Pakistan and Italy will pave the way for further enhancing defence collaboration between the two countries.

Italian Minister for Defence, Mrs. Roberta Pinotti acknowledged that Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism and has suffered a lot and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for eradicating terrorism. She also lauded Pakistan’s efforts for bringing peace in Afghanistan and for generously hosting millions of Afghan refugees.