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AFP
&
A
APP
April 19, 2021

India has to take back Aug 5 action for talks: Qureshi

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AFP
&
A
APP
April 19, 2021

DUBAI: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said there was no need for backchannel diplomacy between Pakistan and India and the only way for the latter to come to the negotiating table was to restore the original constitutional status of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

Speaking at a press conference here, Qureshi said both India and Pakistan would have to think about their bilateral ties.

“Pakistan never evaded talks and wants to live in peace with all its neighbours including India,” he stressed.

He said Pakistan was ready to talk with India if it took back its steps of August 5. Qureshi said his visit to the UAE would strengthen existing bilateral ties.

The minister said he would meet his Emirati counterpart on Monday and clarified that he had no meeting scheduled with the Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar. Qureshi also visited Pakistan pavilion at the World Expo 2020 to be held in UAE from October 1.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE Afzal Mahmood, Consul General Dubai Consulate Ahmad Amjad Ali and other senior officials of the embassy also accompanied the foreign minister.

The foreign minister said presence of Pakistan pavilion in the international expo being held this year was a manifestation of decades-old friendship between Pakistan and the UAE. It also showed the enhanced economic ties and bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly countries in different sectors, he observed. He said a mega event would be organised by Pakistan in Sharjah in October this year to showcase the hidden treasures of Pakistan. At the event, professionals among the Pakistani community in the UAE would be invited, he said.

The event would highlight the role played by the Pakistani community in the progress and prosperity of the UAE, he said, adding, he would invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to the mega event. Qureshi said Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates would complete their 50 years long friendship.

Both the countries were making an effort to organise different programmes at the completion of 50 years of their brotherly diplomatic relations, he said.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan made crossover visits to the United Arab Emirates this weekend after it was revealed the Gulf nation had been mediating between the hostile neighbours. "Good to be in the #UAE," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood ureshi tweeted late Saturday after announcing a three-day trip which ends Monday (today).

His Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited the emirate of Abu Dhabi on Sunday, a spokesman for New Delhi´s ministry of external affairs tweeted.

Pakistan´s foreign ministry said there was no scheduled meeting between the two ministers.

Islamabad suspended trade and diplomatic ties with India in 2019 after it revoked the special status of the Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

However, in February, Islamabad and New Delhi pledged to cease fire along the disputed frontier, after months of violence.

Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE´s envoy to Washington, confirmed last week that his country had played role "in bringing the Kashmir escalation down and creating a ceasefire, hopefully".

"They might not, sort of, become best friends but at least we want to get it to a level where it´s functional, where it´s operational, where they are speaking to each other... that´s our goal," he added, in an online talk with Stanford University´s Hoover Institution.