Pakistan expresses concern over violence in Thailand

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday expressed concerned over the violent clashes in the friendly country of Thailand, hoping that the Thai people would be able to find a peaceful solution to their problems.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that Pakistan also hoped that democratic principles will be honoured and democratic institutions will be respected in Thailand.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also voiced concern about the recent unrest in Thailand and has urged all sides in the unrest to broker a peaceful end to the crisis.

“I am concerned about the escalation of violence in Bangkok in recent days and express regret over the loss of lives and injuries,” Ban told reporters on the sidelines of a UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) conference in Lima.

The UN Secretary General also expressed concern over attempts by demonstrators to “forcefully seize government buildings and media outlets.”

”I once more call for all sides to exercise utmost restraint and to resolve political differences through dialogue, through peaceful means,” Ban said.

“All parties need to observe full respect for democratic principles, the rule of law, and human rights, including freedom of expression,” he added.

At least three people have been killed and 230 others have injured in Bangkok in a week of protests after a protest rally began with an estimated 180,000 people demanding removal of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Police were forced to carry out crackdown on protesters and fire teargas canisters and rubber bullets to control the situation as clashes with the protesters went on getting intensified as days passed on.

The anti-government protesters also seized several high-profile targets including ministries in the Thai capital in recent days.

However, on Tuesday the Thai government ordered all police to withdraw and stop fighting with anti-government protesters in order to avoid violence and confrontation.

“The protesters said they want to seize government buildings, but the government doesn’t want to see any fighting or confrontation so we’ve ordered the police to back off,” the government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi said.

“We want to avoid violence and confrontation,” he added.