Qureshi vows to step up lobbying over Kashmir

August 18, 2019

By News DeskISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday the efforts for the Kashmir cause were “a long-drawn battle” and Pakistan would consider all options with...

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By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday the efforts for the Kashmir cause were “a long-drawn battle” and Pakistan would consider all options with regard to the evolving situation, and a plan of action would be prepared for diplomatic, political and legal strategies.

Pakistan was fully ready to counter evil Indian designs with its highly professional armed forces, spirited nation and its all institutions, said Qureshi at a press briefing here following a meeting of the Kashmir Committee, as he once again expressed apprehension that India could resort to any false-flag operation to divert world attention from its atrocities in the disputed territory.

Qureshi was flanked by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor, Adviser to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan and Kashmir Committee Chairman Syed Fakhar Imam. Referring to UNSC deliberations on Kashmir, he said it was a big fight in which India was taken aback. He said Pakistan had decided to further enhance lobbying efforts to effectively highlight the prevailing conditions in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). He said the government had decided to establish a Kashmir Cell in the Foreign Office and similar desks at Pakistani embassies in the key capitals across the world to give impetus to the ongoing efforts.

The foreign minister termed UNSC deliberations a huge development in the last five decades that vindicated Pakistan’s stance over the Kashmir issue. He said Pakistan would take all steps to remind the world body about the irresponsible, illegal and unilateral steps taken by the Narendra Modi-led Indian government.

Referring to the UNSC meeting, the foreign minister said the highest forum of the world had reaffirmed its commitments to its eleven resolutions over IHK. Terming the UNSC meeting a big diplomatic victory for Pakistan and clear defeat to the designs of India, he said today’s India did not belong to Nehru but to Modi and there was a clear difference between the two.

Qureshi again cautioned the international community that India could carry out any false flag operation near the Line of Control (LoC) to divert world attention from its unilateral and illegal actions and serious human rights violations in IHK.

He said the UNSC had held deliberations with complete consensus despite botched attempts by India to interrupt its session.

With its deliberations, the UNSC had clearly rejected the Indian point of view and endorsed Pakistan’s stance as indicated in August 13 letter, he added. He said Kashmiri and Pakistani leadership have already completely rejected Indian stance and now even voices inside India are being raised by the civil society and academia who are strongly opposing the steps taken by the Indian government.

About 200 famous people from civil society and human rights activists had signed a petition demanding the Indian government to undo the coercive steps in the IHK, besides Indian Supreme Court had also been approached, he added.

The foreign minister said valuable input was received from opposition parties who were given representation in the Special Kashmir Committee meeting earlier in the day. He maintained a message of uniformity and harmony was given from the Pakistani nation, politicians, parliament and Azad Jammu and Kashmir leadership. A message of unity had been sent across the globe over the Kashmir issue, he added.

Replying to a query, he said the whole international media had been supporting the Kashmiris after a long time. He said India’s strategy was now revolving around a doctrine with three main characters including Indian premier Modi, minister Ameet Shah and national security advisor Doval.

Qureshi further said the people in the IHK came out on roads to offer Friday prayers, and women and children rejected the coercive Indian measures and defied the curfew. Such was a reflection of the sentiment which could unleash itself once the clampdown was relaxed, he added.

While DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor strongly rejected the Indian propaganda of across LoC infiltration or attempts in this regard and termed it false, saying the Pakistan armed forces with complete backing of the nation were fully ready to respond to any aggression or misadventure by the Indian forces.

He said the armed forces of Pakistan were alert on the LoC and in case of any misadventure or aggression they would go to the last extent to defend the motherland with full support of the nation.

About Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh’s statement, he termed it irresponsible and said responsible states did not talk in such manner and called upon the international community to take cognisance of that irresponsible statement. Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan was a responsible country. The Indian aggression and designs always posed threat to Pakistan borders and LoC but the armed forces were always ready to face all such challenges, adding the nation had full confidence in their armed forces and in their professional capabilities.

He said under such a grave situation, Pakistan could not afford any event which could undermine its efforts over the Kashmir cause.

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