ISLAMABAD: The spokesperson for the Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday that the Kurdish referendum held in Iraq lacks legitimacy.
“The referendum violates the Iraqi constitution and therefore lacks any legitimacy,” said spokesperson Nafees Zakaria.
The FO added that the referendum presents a challenge to peace and stability of Iraq.
“Pakistan is deeply concerned over the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.”
Pakistan reiterated its support for Iraq and further said the country fully supports Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
“Pakistan joins Iraq and its neighbors, along with the international community, in its opposition to this referendum.”
The government reaffirmed its “full support for the government and people of Iraq” and added that Pakistan is concerned at attempts aimed at threatening the territorial integrity of Iraq or any other country in the region.
The Kurds, who have ruled over an autonomous region within Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, consider the referendum to be a historic step in a generations-old quest for a state of their own.
Iraq considers the vote unconstitutional, especially as it was held not only within the Kurdish region itself but also on disputed territory held by Kurds elsewhere in northern Iraq.
The United States, major European countries and neighbors Turkey and Iran strongly opposed the decision to hold the referendum, which they described as destabilizing at a time when all sides are still fighting against Islamic State militants.
The Iraqi government earlier ruled out talks on Kurdish independence and Turkey threatened to impose a blockade.