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October 20, 2019

PM to open Kartarpur Corridor on Nov 9: Qureshi

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October 20, 2019

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has disclosed that Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate Kartarpur Corridor on Nov 9 and the government has taken all emergency measures to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims.

Responding to the media queries here Saturday, he said the opening ceremony would be held as per schedule in any case, and there is a clear message for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “Stop us if you can.”

He said Pakistan had invited former Indian premier Manmohan Singh to participate in the inaugural ceremony of the Corridor. He has responded positively in his letter by showing his interest to participate in the ceremony as a common Indian citizen. He said the government would welcome Manmohan Singh in any position if visited Pakistan. He said India tried its best to postpone the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration, but it failed to do so due to severe public pressure.

The foreign minister ruled out the possibility of imposition of a martial law, saying the future of democracy is bright in the country.

He strongly condemned the bomb blasts in Afghanistan, which claimed lives of 62 innocent people.

He parried questions about the expected arrest of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. “It is an internal matter, and I can comment on external affairs in a better way,” he told a questioner.

He said the Financial Action Task Force had relaxed Pakistan until February 2020 and Pakistan would achieve targets easily. The FATF extended the monitoring deadline due to positive performance of Pakistan regarding elimination of terrorism and preventive money laundering, he claimed.

He greeted the nation on knocking down India on the issue of FATF, as India tried its level best to put Pakistan in the black list. However, Pakistan foiled Indian conspiracies, he said. Delhi has been under pressure after the rejection of its narrative by the international media. India made trips to many countries to justify its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, but failed in getting desired results.

The foreign minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted normalisation of the situation in the region. He met Iranian president and supreme leader of Iran during his visit. Later, he visited Saudi Arab and met Shah Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Muhammad Bin Sulman. The good news is that Saudi Arab has agreed and backed diplomatic efforts being initiated by Pakistan between Iran and Saudi Arab.

Qureshi said people were politically conscious and they would not allow any sort of anarchy in the country. The people of Pakistan understand how to avoid political instability to ward off economic instability.

About by-elections in PS-11 Larkana, he said the election results were the first drop of rain of change in Sindh. The Sindh government had been under the rule of Sindh chief minister administratively, but the victory of Moazam Abbasi is a clear indication of the change. Voters in interior Sindh has become well aware politically. He said he had already predicted the PPP would be loser in the by-election.

About current political situation in the country, he said the government would deal with the participants in Azadi march and sit-in according to democratic spirit and constitution. However, he said political process always has space for dialogue. The government has constituted a committee, and all the stakeholders should take it positively. He asked the JUI-F not to do anything which could be harmful to the narrative of Pakistan. He said the opposition and Maulana Fazlur Rehman wanted to express their narrative and there would be no restrictions on expression in the country. The constitution does not allow any militant force or stick barriers to perform in the country.

He requested the participants of Azadi march must avoid taking such steps that can strengthen the narrative of enemies of Pakistan. he said the government has announced observing black day on October 27 because Indian forces entered Kashmir and occupied the disputed region of Kashmir. The whole is going to observe black day on October 27, he remarked.

Qureshi said Delhi was attempting to entangle Pakistan in its domestic affairs, like the Azadi march would divert public attention from Kashmir. Delhi has been under pressure at this time and releasing fillers of different types. He said the political parties of the country are patriotic and they understand the situation in a better way.

He said the exports of country had shown considerable increase of 5.9pc and imports reduced to 9pc. The indicators have showed that economy is improving, as Pak rupee is stable against dollar. The indicators are showing rise in investment, opening windows of employment.

He said the British couple left Pakistan as ambassadors of Pakistan. Pakistan had given honour and respect to the British couple and their trip to Pakistan would bring more closeness between the UK and Pakistan.

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