Pakistan assured of China's 'complete support' in motion against India at UNSC: FM Qureshi

Published August 10, 2019
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi gestures during a press conference in Islamabad, on Saturday. — AP
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi gestures during a press conference in Islamabad, on Saturday. — AP

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday reiterated that China had offered its complete support to Pakistan in approaching the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) with a motion to condemn India's move of scrapping Kashmir's special status.

"I shared with China that we intend on taking this matter to the UNSC. I want to tell the nation that they [Chinese leadership] have assured us of their complete support. Not only that, they have also issued instructions to their New York representative to remain in contact with our representative and to keep their consultations ongoing."

His remarks came during a press conference held in Islamabad, a day after his rushed visit to Beijing, where he took into confidence his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi over Pakistan's concerns.

Qureshi said that foreign ministries of both the countries have named a focal person each at the director general level who will be responsible for coordinating "a joint strategy".

China has taken a position whereby it views Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed region, said the foreign minister, adding,"They are of the view that the solution to the dispute lies within the United Nations resolution."

A report by Reuters quoted Qureshi as saying that he planned to approach Indonesia and Poland — both non-permanent members of the 15-strong Security Council — as well, for their support.

Qureshi said that China viewed India's actions in occupied Kashmir to be "unilateral". He warned of a negative side to these actions in the form of an "enhanced threat" to peace and security in the region.

"Another worrisome aspect is the further violation of human rights which was always a threat," he said. Referring to yesterday's easing of curfew restrictions and the resultant "spontaneous protest" that broke out, he said Indian security forces made use of pellet guns to contain it.

The foreign minister went on to describe how Kashmiris living abroad had been completely cut off from their loved ones in the wake of an unprecedented lockdown in the region by the occupying forces.

He said some reports of curfew violations had surfaced from Soora in Srinagar yesterday and in Ladakh today, but that details were sketchy due to a clampdown on communications. "We cannot say for sure what the outcome of quashing such violations was. Were there deaths? Injuries? The fear is on the rise."

He said the curfew has entered its sixth day and there are alarming reports of food shortages and moreover, a shortage of medicines.

"All the while, India is giving the world the impression that there is nothing to worry about and that this is an internal matter," he said.

The foreign minister, during an interactive session with the media at the end of his conference, asserted that Pakistan does not wish to seek a military solution to the issue.

"We think of it as an ignorant, foolish and suicidal move. This is not our path," he said.

"However, if someone mounts an attack on us [...] we did not use aggression, we defended ourselves on February 27 and we reserve the right to defence," the foreign minister added.

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