World needs to dissuade India from its war-mongering after Pulwama, Qureshi tells UNSC chief

Updated February 22, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has informed the UNSC president about what he called a "deteriorating security situation" in the region. — AFP/File
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has informed the UNSC president about what he called a "deteriorating security situation" in the region. — AFP/File

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has written a letter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) president, drawing his attention to what he called a "deteriorating security situation" in the region resulting from Indian rhetoric in the wake of the Pulwama attack, it emerged on Friday.

In the letter, seen by Dawn.com, he also stressed the need for the international community to step in and "dissuade India from its current war-mongering".

Over 40 Indian paramilitary troops were killed in last week's attack in Indian-occupied Kashmir which has been claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, a proscribed organisation. India has alleged that those who planned the attacks had links with the Pakistani state — a charge that Pakistan has vigorously denied.

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Saying he was writing the letter "with a sense of urgency", Qureshi informed the UNSC president, Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, about Indian belligerence and "threats of use of force against Pakistan" following the Pulwama attack, adding that the situation poses a threat to international peace.

Within moments of the Pulwama attack, Qureshi wrote, India started accusing and threatening Pakistan without holding any investigation or coming up with evidence. New Delhi had based all of its allegations on a social media video "of completely suspect content", he added.

Citing the Indian prime minister's statements in which he spoke of a "befitting response", the foreign minister said New Delhi had deliberately ratcheted up hostile rhetoric against Pakistan owing to domestic political reasons.

He said additionally, members of the Indian government are also threatening to "use water as a weapon", thus imperilling long-standing legal arrangements agreed between the two countries under the Indus Waters Treaty.

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As a result of the "frenzy" created by the Indian government, Kashmiris have been suffering reprisal attacks in occupied Kashmir and several Indian states, Qureshi said, reminding the UNSC president that the security council's resolutions on the Kashmir dispute call for the holding of a democratic and impartial plebiscite to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right of self-determination.

He said the people of occupied Kashmir were counting on the international community to take steps to urgently halt the horrific human rights violations being carried out against them by Indian forces.

"India must refrain from escalating the situation and enter into dialogue with Pakistan and the Kashmiris to ensure de-escalation and continued peace and stability in South Asia," stated Qureshi, who recently wrote a similar letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The foreign minister said Pakistan while strongly rejecting Indian allegations of its involvement has offered to cooperate with New Delhi "if tangible evidence emerging from [a] credible investigation is shared". Prime Minister Imran Khan has also announced Pakistan's readiness for talks with India on the issue of terrorism and other disputed matters, he added.

"I request that this letter be circulated to the members of the Security Council and issued as an official document of the [UNSC]," Qureshi concluded.