ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) has categorically rejected the inclusion of Pakistan in the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) List published under a domestic U.S. legislation – in the U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2021, ARY News reported on Friday.
The FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement, “We categorically reject the unsubstantiated and baseless inclusion of Pakistan in the “Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) List” – published under a domestic U.S. legislation – in the U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2021.”
He said, Pakistan does not support any non-state armed group; nor any entity recruiting or using child soldiers. Pakistan’s efforts in fighting non-state armed groups including terrorist entities are well recognised.”
“The inclusion of Pakistan in the “CSPA List” depicts a factual error and lack of understanding. No State institution was consulted by the U.S. prior to the publication of the report. Nor were any details provided of the basis on which the conclusion was reached.”
“Overall, on the issue of Trafficking in Persons, Pakistan is committed to fighting this scourge both at the national and international levels.”
“We have taken a range of legislative and administrative actions in that regard during the last one year, including the approval of Rules under the domestic Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Acts; National Action Plan 2021-25 prepared jointly by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and enhancement of capacity building and inter-agency cooperation of Law Enforcement Agencies involved in anti-human smuggling.”
It added that Pakistan has been voluntarily submitting information for the TIP Report to the U.S. Government since 2007 and has actively worked on implementing the practicable recommendations of these reports.
“Pakistan calls upon the authorities concerned in the United States to review the baseless assertions made in the TIP Report, especially with regard to the unwarranted inclusion of Pakistan in the “CSPA List.” Pakistan also expects the sharing of “credible information” on cases involving Trafficking in Persons as well as on allegations pertaining to support to armed groups using child soldiers.”
The statement read, “Pakistan’s views and perspective on the subject have been conveyed to the U.S. side. Pakistan would continue to remain engaged with the U.S. Government through bilateral channels for constructive dialogue on all issues of mutual interest.”
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