Modi's BJP facing defeat in Delhi polls due to contentious citizenship laws: FM Qureshi

Updated 10 Feb 2020

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing a meeting of the FPCCI in Karachi on Monday. –DawnNewsTV screengrab
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing a meeting of the FPCCI in Karachi on Monday. –DawnNewsTV screengrab

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said India's ruling Bhartya Janata Party (BJP) was facing imminent defeat in New Delhi polls due to premier Narendra Modi's contentious moves concerning new citizenship laws.

Addressing a gathering of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) in Karachi, the foreign minister said since the BJP's victory in the 2019 general elections in India, the party had to "face difficulties" in three state elections.

"As for the Delhi elections, where results will be announced tomorrow, it is expected the BJP will face a lot of difficulties and is facing a huge defeat," Qureshi said.

The foreign minister said there could be several reasons for the BJP facing these setbacks, but particularly highlighted the Indian government's "cruel" policies in occupied Kashmir and the "countrywide protests that have resulted after the introduction of the CAA and the NRC" as the major reasons.

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Qureshi said several countries, realising that India is a huge market, were hesitant in going against their economic interests.

Read: ‘Trade interests trump human rights’: EU Parliament defers vote on anti-CAA resolution

"However, while it it true that everyone speaks of ethics and doing the right thing, their actions are always in line with safeguarding their own economic interests."

But the foreign minister went on to say that even countries that had deepened their ties with India, were reevaluating their relationship with the country after the government's questionable moves in occupied Kashmir and its introduction of discriminatory laws.

He further said that India's economic growth has halved since the BJP came back into power. "We are worried that India may try to stage a Pulwama-like false flag operation to move its own peoples' focus on Pakistan, instead of on its own economic situation," Qureshi said.

Speaking of economic growth and stability, Qureshi said, "The world will take Pakistan seriously when we are financially stable.

"That is why I am here today, so that we can come up with ways for the foreign ministry to facilitate the finance ministry and other ministries in establishing contact with other countries and forging better ties with them.

"This will hep us learn from them and also work with them," Qureshi said while adding that Pakistan has seen deindustrialisation in recent years.

"The question is about when this process started. If industries are shutting down now, something must have happened in the past few years to have triggered the process. No one sets an industry up with the feasibility of a year or six months in mind, they think years ahead of time.

"However, I am not here to place blame or play politics, I am here to find a way forward," the foreign minister said.