ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday apprised the visiting foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of the situation arising from New Delhi’s illegal and unilateral actions in occupied Kashmir, stating that the international community has the responsibility to urge India to halt and reverse its illegal actions and aggressive policies and postures.
The prime minister, during his meeting with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, highlighted Pakistan’s deep concern over the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in India-held Kashmir because of the month-long complete lockdown and communications blackout in the occupied territory.
The prime minister, according to a handout issued by the PM Office, stressed the importance of immediate lifting of curfew, removal of restrictions on movement and communications and respect for the fundamental rights of Kashmiri people.
Mr Khan underscored that India’s actions were a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions and international law. There was a genuine fear of a false flag operation to divert the world’s attention from India’s illegal actions and intensified repression of Kashmiris, he told the visiting dignitaries.
New Delhi has created risks for peace in region, Imran tells visiting Saudi, UAE FMs
“India’s actions have created grave risks for peace and security in the region. The international community has the responsibility to urge India to halt and reverse its illegal actions and aggressive policies and postures,” the prime minister was quoted to have told the two foreign ministers — the first foreign dignitaries who visited Pakistan since New Delhi’s move to end the special status of the held valley through revocation of Article 370 of its constitution last month.
The prime minister said Saudi Arabia and the UAE had an important role in this regard.
The visiting dignitaries said they were visiting Pakistan on the directives of their leadership. They reaffirmed the strategic significance of the relationship of Saudi Arabia and the UAE with Pakistan and acknowledged Pakistan’s role and efforts in promoting and maintaining regional peace and stability.
They fully understood the anguish of the people of Pakistan over recent developments and were concerned over the worsening humanitarian situation in occupied Kashmir. Both the countries would remain engaged to help address the current challenges, defuse tensions and promote an environment of peace and security, said the official statement.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi apprised the two dignitaries of Pakistan’s concern over the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.
Mr Qureshi said that besides violation of the international law and UNSC resolutions, India’s recent actions were also violation of bilateral agreements like Simla pact and its own solemn commitments since they were aimed at changing the globally acknowledged disputed status of Kashmir and altering its demographic structure and identity.
He underscored that the indefensible lockdown and curfew in the occupied territory had entered its fifth week, subjecting nine million Kashmiris to unspeakable suffering. Apart from these illegal actions, India’s ceasefire violations on the Line of Control have also intensified.
Mr Qureshi noted that cumulatively these Indian actions and postures had the real potential to seriously imperil peace and security of the region. At this particular time, he said, the people of Pakistan and the Kashmiris expected strong support from the Muslim world. In this context, it was very important to give a clear and unambiguous signal of support and solidarity with the Kashmiri people, he added.
The visiting foreign ministers underlined the strong bonds of Saudi Arabia and the UAE with Pakistan and the strategic salience of their relationships. They reaffirmed their strong support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan. With regard to the situation in occupied Kashmir, the ministers took full cognisance of Pakistan’s perspective. It was agreed to work closely in the Organisation Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other forums.
Later, talking to the official press, Mr Qureshi said there was no doubt that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were standing by Pakistan. “We are hopeful that [both countries] will not disappoint us. The ministers of both countries have listened to our stance on the situation,” he added.
Earlier, Mr Qureshi received the two dignitaries at the Noor Khan Airbase.
The two foreign ministers visited Pakistan as a result of direct telephone calls by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the crown princes of the two countries over the past few days.
Saudi Press Agency had reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman discussed the “latest developments in the region” in a phone call. It said the two leaders during the telephone call, second in less than a month, had also “reviewed the relations between the two countries”.
In his media talk on Tuesday, Mr Qureshi had termed the visit of the two foreign ministers a diplomatic success, saying that these dignitaries were the “two principal players of the OIC”. He had confirmed that the two ministers had agreed to visit Islamabad on Pakistan government’s request. “We contacted the two foreign ministers and they are coming,” Mr Qureshi had said.
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2019