'UNSC, OIC have responded positively to Pakistan's call,' says FM Qureshi

Published August 17, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, left, speaks while military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor looks on during a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday. — AP
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, left, speaks while military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor looks on during a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday. — AP

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while addressing a joint press conference with Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Saturday, stated that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have both responded positively to Pakistan's calls to take notice of India's recent actions in occupied Kashmir.

"The OIC and UNSC have both responded positively to Pakistan's call for the Kashmir issue to be taken up. The OIC has called for an immediate end to the curfew in occupied Kashmir," he said.

"The issue was raised in the UNSC after five decades and a discussion took place on the matter — that is a major development, especially since India tried its utmost to keep it from happening," Qureshi said.

Yesterday, for the first time in 50 years, the UNSC held a meeting exclusively on occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Although the council did not agree on a statement, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun summed up the discussions and expressed serious concern over the situation.

Qureshi today stressed that the UNSC should consider itself responsible for helping resolve the Kashmir dispute.

The foreign minister said that it had been decided in a meeting of the Special Committee on Kashmir — which concluded right before the press conference — that a Kashmir Cell will be created at Pakistan's Foreign Office. Furthermore, Kashmir desks will also be established at Pakistani embassies all over the world, "in order to carry out effective communication on the matter."

"The Special Committee on Kashmir has members from all concerned parties, including members of the opposition," Qureshi noted. "This sends out the message that Pakistan is on the same page when it comes to the issue of occupied Kashmir and India's actions there."

"All members of the meeting gave viable suggestions on the situation in Kashmir."

Answering a question regarding Pakistan's stance on Article 370 of India's constitution, Qureshi said: "Pakistan does not recognise Article 370 of the Indian constitution. It is not our concern. Our concern is with the forceful change in Kashmir's demographics and the violation of the rights of the people of Kashmir.

Regarding the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice, Qureshi said that the matter was discussed with the law ministry and the attorney general and the pros and cons are being weighed before a decision is taken on the matter.

"Today voices are being raised there [in India] and they are saying that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has buried Jawaharlal Nehru's India. Voices are being raised within India and they are calling for returning the special status to Kashmir.

"India is functioning on a dual doctrine. The three people carrying this doctrine out are Modi, Indian Interior Minister Amit Shah and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval."

Answering a question regarding Shah's statement regarding the use of nuclear weapons, Qureshi said: "When there's a problem in the brain, then decisions like the one taken on August 5 come into being. When someone loses their mind they give the kind of statement the Indian interior minister gave."

The foreign minister expressed the concern that India could carry out some sort of a misadventure against Pakistan but said, "Pakistan's people are ready for any action and will give a befitting response to it."

Qureshi also thanked the media for its role in the coverage of the developments in occupied Kashmir, said that the media should have a "unified stance on matters of national security."

He further said that this is the first time that international media has openly come out in occupied Kashmir's support and asked critical questions regarding India's recent actions.

'Pakistani troops are ready for any misadventures from India'

Addressing the press conference, DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan's armed forces are "ready for any misadventure that India might initiate."

"The situation in India and occupied Kashmir can be judged by the kind of statements their commanders have been giving for the past few days," he said. "We believe that Kashmir's reaction on India's actions may come out soon and we are prepared for that too."

"The atrocities being carried out by India in Kashmir are now out in the open for the whole world to see. This is not the matter of a piece of land, it is the matter of the rights of the people living in Kashmir.

The army spokesperson also made it clear that Pakistan would not take any action that may result in international opinion turning against Islamabad.

"With the number of Indian troops present in the Kashmir region at the moment, even if a single person enters there [without them knowing] it would be a huge failure on India's part," he said, seemingly in preemption of a future accusation that Pakistan is helping militants infiltrate the disputed territory.

"Pakistan cannot carry out any action [in Kashmir] and rejects the notion that militants are being sent to Kashmir from here," he clarified.

During the press conference, Maj Gen Ghafoor also pointed out that a number of Pakistani Twitter accounts posting in the favour of Kashmir have been blocked.



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