ISLAMABAD - The Foreign Office on Thursday confirmed that no foreign dignitary would attend the oath-taking ceremony of the new Prime Minister.

Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal at the weekly Press briefing mentioned a tweet by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf announcing a decision that “no dignitary from abroad except a few close friends of Chairman PTI Imran Khan would attend the simple and dignified oath-taking at Aiwan-e-Sadr”.

“The comprehensive PTI tweet explains that no foreign dignitary would attend the oath-taking ceremony, which is going to be a simple event,” the spokesman said. The PTI, that had emerged victorious in recent general elections, posted at its official twitter account on Thursday that “oath-taking would be a national event without being ostentatious”.

On recent statements by Chairman PTI and India’s Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi showing intent to improve relations between the two neighbouring states, the spokesman said, “We hope and expect that it would be taken forward for the resolutions of important issues”.

Dr Faisal mentioned that the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue between Pakistan and India halted since 2015 and holding of SAARC Summit were the areas that required particular focus by the two governments.

He said that Pakistan was ready to host SAARC Summit which was postponed since November 2016. When sought to comment on the Bill passed by US Congress to slash Pakistan’s defence aid to 150 million dollars, the spokesman confirmed that the Coalition Support Fund had been discontinued.

Dr Faisal said that the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir reflected the unabated use of force, oppression, suppression and mass killings by Indian occupying forces of innocent and defenceless Kashmiris. He mentioned that during last month, Indian troops in unabated acts of State terrorism, martyred 21 Kashmiris including four young boys and a woman.

He mentioned that Bureau Chief of Washington Post for India Annie Gowan had complained that she was not granted a special permit to report in Indian Occupied Kashmir and voiced her frustration and disappointment regarding this issue on her twitter account. “Indian attempt to hide the human rights violations carried out by the Indian occupying forces in Jammu and Kashmir by banning the entry of foreign journalists is condemnable and will render no success,” he said. The spokesman said that this action belied the illusion being created by India and reflected its “autocratic and fascist mindset”.

“If India has nothing to hide, it should allow the foreign journalists and Commission of Inquiry as recommended by OHCHR,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan on Thursday summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner over the unprovoked ceasefire violations along the Line of Control in Mandal Sector, resulting in the martyrdom of innocent civilian Nusrat Bibi of Ghasla village. Director General (South Asia & Saarc) Dr Muhammad Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and conveyed Pakistan’s concern over the unprovoked violations.

According to a foreign office statement issued here, the director general (SA & Saarc) urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC as well as the Working Boundary.

He urged the Indian side to permit UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions. According to the Foreign Office statement, the Indian forces along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary are continuously targeting civilians with heavy weapons. In 2018, the Indian forces carried out more than 1,400 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the martyrdom of 30 innocent civilians and injuries to 121, it said.

The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas was indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws, the FO statement said.

The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation, the statement maintained.