Pakistan warns India against LoC ‘venture’

Updated September 30, 2018

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FOREIGN Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi says Pakistan will support an Afghan-led peace process.—AP
FOREIGN Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi says Pakistan will support an Afghan-led peace process.—AP

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has warned India of a strong response if New Delhi tries to cross the Line of Control or acts upon its so-called ‘doctrine of limited war’ against Islamabad.

“To divert the world’s attention from its brutalities, India frequently violates the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Despite numerous violations Pakistan has acted with restraint,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said while addressing the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday. “But if India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of ‘limited’ war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response.”

Speaking in Urdu, FM Qureshi presented Pakistan’s viewpoint on issues ranging from terrorism, relations with India especially in the context of continuing rights violations in India-held Kashmir, war in Afghanistan, Palestine crisis, climate change, etc.

He also raised the issue of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and informed the audience that India was behind various acts of terrorism in Pakistan, including the 2014 Army Public School carnage in Peshawar.

Referring to the change of government following the July 25 general elections in the country, he said that Pakistan would not compromise on the interests of the nation, the sovereignty of the state, or the security of its people.

Foreign Minister Qureshi tells UN General Assembly that New Delhi prefers politics over peace

“Our government is keen to pursue a policy of partnership for peace, security and prosperity in our immediate neighbourhood and beyond. We seek a peaceful environment to promote our development agenda both at the national level and in our region,” he said.

About New Delhi’s decision to cancel talks between Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Mr Qureshi said that the Modi government called off the dialogue for a third time on flimsy grounds. “They preferred politics over peace,” he said.

“They used the pretext of stamps issued months ago, of a Kashmiri activist and depicting grave human rights violations including pellet gun victims, as an excuse to back out from the talks.

“The unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute hinders the realisation of the goal of a durable peace between our two countries. For over 70 years now, it has remained on the agenda of the UN Security Council and a blot on the conscience of humanity.

“For seventy years the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir have struggled for their right to self-determination in the face of overwhelming oppression and gross violation of their fundamental human rights by the Indian occupation forces,” he pointed out.

The foreign minister warned that there could be no lasting peace in South Asia without a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute based on the UNSC resolutions and in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people.

Mr Qureshi said that Pakistan welcomed the recently released report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Pakistan endorses the UN report and calls for early institution of a Commission of Inquiry under the UN auspices to investigate and fix responsibility,” he said, adding, “We will welcome the commission to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and hope that India too, will do the same.”

Sushma addresses UNGA

Earlier, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her speech said that the biggest challenges the world currently faced were climate change and terrorism.

She claimed that India, hours after agreeing to a meeting between Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers in New York on a proposal of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had cancelled the event because “news came that terrorists had killed three of our jawans”.

Without mentioning the core issue of Kashmir, she said: “We believe that talks are only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of their behaviour.”

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2018