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Saturday October 23, 2021

Results would have been different had US heeded us: Qureshi

APP
September 26, 2021
Results would have been different had US heeded us: Qureshi

NEW YORK/UNITED NATIONS: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has wrapped up his five-day trip to New York as the head of Pakistan's delegation to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

Addressing Pakistani news media representatives on Friday night, he said that he felt there was a better understanding of Pakistan's viewpoint now among the international community.

Qureshi said he was satisfied with the talks he had with a number of his counterparts and heads of international organisations on global and regional problems, especially Kashmir and Afghanistan.

He said that the US was internally facing criticism on ‘results’ they had achieved after spending enormous money in Afghanistan. Qureshi said that had the US paid heed to Pakistan’s stance [on Afghanistan], the result would have been different. He said that Taliban had come into power due to poor policies of former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

FM Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stirring, wide-ranging address to the 193-member assembly was constructive and statesman-like, especially his call for a probe to determine the background and the reasons that led to the collapse of Ashraf Ghani's government and the return of Taliban to powers.

He also said PM Khan had exposed Indian propaganda about Jammu and Kashmir and brought home to member states the real state of affairs in the disputed territory.

He also referred to Pakistan's recently released comprehensive and well-researched dossier containing the entire range of gross, systematic and widespread violations of human rights being perpetrated by Indian security forces in the occupied territory.

The foreign minister said he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting of OIC's Contact Group in which his counterparts from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan participated and reaffirmed their stand on the Kashmir dispute.

Among the dozens of meetings the foreign minister had here was his first face-to-face interaction with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with whom he had exchange of views for over an hour. Replying to questions, the foreign minister said the atmosphere at the meeting was "good", as the objective was to remove misunderstandings.

Secretary Blinken, he said, was respectful and he listened to Pakistan's viewpoint at length, and then he put forward his views. On his part, Qureshi said Secretary Blinken appreciated Pakistan's support for the evacuation of US citizens and other nationals from Afghanistan, and its continued efforts for peace in the region.

To another question, the foreign minister said they had a discussion about the move to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan. In this regard, he said he had suggested that engagement with the Taliban, persuasion and patience would help accomplish the objective.

FM Qureshi said that the ministerial-level meeting of Unity for Consensus (UfC) stood by its stand that any decision to restructure the UN Security Council should be taken by consensus. The UfC group firmly opposed any addition among permanent members for which India, Brazil, Germany and Japan are candidates, but it sought expansion in non-permanent members on the 15-member body.

The log-running Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) would be expected to resume next month to restart work on reforming the Security Council.

Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Munir Akram and Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, were present at the press conference.

Meanwhile, Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with the President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid of Maldives, at the United Nations headquarters in New York Friday.

FM Qureshi congratulated the President of the General Assembly on his election and expressed the hope that his presence in this important office would help make progress on important issues on the agenda of the United Nations.

The foreign minister briefed the UN Secretary General on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK), and shared with him a comprehensive dossier containing evidence of gross, systematic, and widespread human rights violations, war crimes, crime against humanity and genocide being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces there, according to a press release issued by Pakistan Mission to the UN.

On Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the need for urgent action to address the prevailing dire humanitarian situation in the country, calling for the continued political and economic engagement of the international community to end decades-long conflict.

FM Qureshi called for making the UN Security Council more representative, democratic, transparent, effective and accountable to address the multiple challenges facing the world. He also called for stemming the rising tide of Islamophobia; ending vaccine inequity; and for ensuring adequate financing for developing countries to respond to the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.

Meanwhile, Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday said that Pakistan valued Belgium as an important partner and stressed the need for further enhancing political, investment and trade relations between the two countries.

The foreign minister met Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly session in New York. The foreign minister noted that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of crucial importance for Pakistan and the region.

Foreign minister Wilmes appreciated Pakistan’s support in the evacuation of the Belgian nationals from Afghanistan.