MUZAFFARABAD: To the dismay of Kashmiris, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi painted a rather grim picture and said on Monday that no one was waiting at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to garland Pakistan and that the climate might not be conducive to resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Addressing a press conference along with Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan, he said many countries in the world had economic interests in India.
“Though we happen to talk about the Ummah and Islam but the guardians of Ummah have made investments and have interests in India which is a market of one billion people,” he said without naming any state.
He said Kashmir issue had not popped up overnight but it had been there for the past seven decades. “Did it begin on Aug 5 [when India scrapped special status of Kashmir]; didn’t these [UN] resolutions exist earlier? Had there not been the foreign office before? Had there not been the killing and incidents of molestation of women in held Kashmir over the past 30 years,” he posed many questions in a row.
‘Guardians of Ummah have made investments in India’
“Kashmir was on the back burner over the past 30 years. And there were reasons for it. For 30 years, this issue suffered due to the trade and aid,” he said, without elaborating his point.
The foreign minister maintained it was easy to provoke feelings and easier than that was to hurl objections, but it was difficult to comprehend an issue and carry it forward.
He then observed that no one was waiting for Pakistan at the Security Council “with garlands” and added that any of the P5 members [of Security Council] could create an obstacle.
“Do you have any doubt? You shouldn’t have any,” he said to reporters and added that people should not live in a fool’s paradise. “Let the people of Pakistan and Kashmir be aware of it ... As such the atmosphere is not favourable [for us].”
Earlier, at a press conference with Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, the foreign minister said that diplomatic efforts on Kashmir could not produce results unless the Pakistani and Kashmiri expatriates across the world spearheaded the struggle. “Expatriates should come out and raise this issue with full force and energy,” he said.
He said all political parties had a unanimous stand on the Kashmir issue and the government had decided to politically, diplomatically and legally advance this struggle. But he cautioned that the Kashmir issue should not be mixed up with local politics and urged opposition parties “not to do politics over Kashmir”.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2019