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February 28, 2021

Modi govt destroyed peace in region: Qureshi

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February 28, 2021

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Saturday said that Pakistan has never backed down from talks which are necessary to achieve peace.

Speaking on the second anniversary of Operation Swift Retort, the minister said Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be seen as its weakness. He said if aggression is imposed on Pakistan, it will retaliate.

The minister said the Modi government destroyed peace in the region. He said Pakistan gave a befitting response to India on February 27. He said Pakistan just wanted to tell the world that if India did a "misadventure" they would have the courage and ability to defend Pakistan. He said Pakistan is a peace loving nation and always prioritises peace. Negotiations are necessary to achieve the path of peace. He said Pakistan has never backed down from negotiations. Shah Mehmood said issues affecting peace must be resolved on both sides.

He said that India attacked Balakot on February 26 and staged a Pulwama drama for political victory. Over time, he said, it became clear that Modi had taken this step to achieve political goals. The minister said that the Pakistani nation has always preferred peace, but if aggression was imposed on them, they would retaliate. Shah Mehmood said India had been told that it had the capability to retaliate if it launched an aggression. He Pakistan had opened the way to Kartarpur corridor. He said the steps taken in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) have been rejected by the Kashmiri people and the world is witnessing human rights violations. He said the situation in IIOJ&K was discussed in the British Parliament and concerns were raised about the growing human rights violations there, while the UN secretary general had expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in IIOJ&K during his visit to Pakistan. He said that civil and human rights were being violated in IIOJ&K and India.

The minister said that there are more than 120 sessions in which Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Foreign Office raised the issue of ongoing human rights violations in IIOJ&K before the international community, the United Nations and international organisations. Qureshi said that IIOJ&K has been debated in the world's parliaments, with at least two resolutions in the US Congress calling for the lifting of sanctions in IIOJ&K.

The minister said that the path of wisdom is the path of dialogue. He said Pakistan has never shied away from dialogue. He said Pakistan has said from day one that it will move towards peace.