CHICAGO: Underscoring that a just resolution of the
U.N.-recognized Kashmir dispute is a sine qua non for regional peace and stability, a senior Pakistani diplomat has urged the international community to take pragmatic steps for the realization of that goal.
Speaking to the faculty and students of University of Illinois in
Urbana-Champaign, a metropolitan area in east-central Illinois, Consul General Faisal Niaz Tirmizi highlighted the grave human rights violations being committed by Indian occupation forces in Kashmir where people were struggling for their right to self-determination. Since July, more than 100 Kashmiri people have been killed and thousands more injured with, 150 completely blinded due to the use of deadly pellet guns.
In his briefing to the gathering, Tirmizi also apprised them of the
strong counter-terrorism measures taken by Pakistan, a fact acknowledged by the United States as also Islamabad’s key role for stability and security in the region.
The consul general spoke about Pakistan’s contributions in two
significant achievements of US foreign policy — the US-China rapprochement and the decisive win against communism.
Tirmizi also referred to Pakistan’s initiative in promoting the first
direct contact between the Afghan Government and Taliban in collaboration with the U.S. and China in July 2014. However, this initiative was thwarted by forces inimical to heralding peace in Afghanistan and the region, he said.
Talking about the Afghan refugees, Tirmizi maintained that Pakistan has
provided for the upkeep of over 3 million Afghan refugees for the last more than 30 years, providing them all medical/educational and social facilities. Their return to their homeland was being carried out in consultation with UNHCR and Afghan Government. On its part, Pakistan was ensuring that the refugees return to their homeland with honour and dignity.
The briefing by Consul General Tirmizi was part of his initiative of
talks/briefings at prominent think-tanks and Universities of Midwest about Pakistan’s foreign policy. The University, ranked as one of the top 50 Universities, has world renowned departments of engineering, computer sciences and architecture.
Tirmizi was invited to speak by the Pakistani Student’s Association of
University of Urbana Champaign. The campus is hosting 94 students from Pakistan who are doing their Phd. and Masters in Engineering and computer science.
At the end of the briefing session, Mr. Tirmizi also answered a lot of
questions about Pakistan foreign policy especially with respect to the US. On a question as to how the relations between the two countries would evolve under the new administration, Tirmizi said the bilateral ties between the two countries are multifaceted and are not dependent as to which party is in power in the US.
Responding to several queries on CPEC which according to Tirmizi would be a catalyst of stability and prosperity in the region, he said that Pakistan has also welcomed United States involvement in CPEC and this would be used as an excellent programme for cooperation between Pakistan-US and China.