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Regional unrest won't serve anyone's interests, says foreign minister

Updated February 19, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tells Pakistan's High Commissioner in India Sohail Mahmood about a letter he wrote to UN secretary general regarding Indo-Pak tensions. — Photo courtesy Radio
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tells Pakistan's High Commissioner in India Sohail Mahmood about a letter he wrote to UN secretary general regarding Indo-Pak tensions. — Photo courtesy Radio

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Tuesday said that Pakistan wants regional peace as unrest and chaos will not serve anyone's interests, Radio Pakistan reported.

Mahmood was called back to Islamabad for consultations following last week's suicide bombing in occupied Kashmir's Pulwama district, in which over 40 Indian soldiers were killed. India has accused Pakistan of having a hand in the attack, but Pakistan has rejected any insinuation that seeks to link it to Islamabad without investigation.

Qureshi and Mahmood exchanged views on the overall security situation in the region, particularly regarding the context of India's allegations against Pakistan.

The foreign minister said that Islamabad is seriously reviewing the emerging situation.

He told the high commissioner that he had written a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres apprising him of the situation.

Qureshi had, in his letter, urged Guterres to "take steps for deescalation" of current tensions which were caused by Indian government's rhetoric against Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama attack, a Foreign Office press statement had said.

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"It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India," he wrote, pointing out that the attack in Pulwama was carried out by a resident of occupied Kashmir and it was "absurd" that India would blame Pakistan for it before it had even investigated the incident.

BJP urged to not give incident 'political hue'

The foreign minister has also urged the leadership of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not to threaten regional peace and stability with the aim of furthering their political agenda, Radio Pakistan reported.

While speaking to journalists on Tuesday during a news conference in Multan, Qureshi expressed regret that the Indian government was giving the Pulawama incident a political hue in an attempt to diplomatically isolate Pakistan. He said that India cannot hope to triumph in such schemes and that Pakistan cannot be blamed for each and every incident in occupied Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses a news conference in Multan on February 19, 2019. — APP
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses a news conference in Multan on February 19, 2019. — APP

He said that the prime minister had already unequivocally stated in today's address to the nation that Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate in case of hostility on India's part.

The foreign minister once more impressed upon India the need for the two sides to sit down for dialogue and resolve all outstanding disputes including that of Jammu and Kashmir.

He repeated Pakistan's stance as a peace loving country that desires to see stability in the region but warned that it will not cower down in the face of threats emanating from India.

Qureshi also condemned the fresh wave of atrocities against Kashmiris following the Pulwama incident.