MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday took strong exception to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement whereby he had shrugged off India’s bid to become non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
In a televised statement on Monday, Mr Qureshi said that India becoming the non-permanent member of the UNSC was not a moment of rejoice but concern as the country had been blatantly rejecting UN resolutions on Kashmir. However, he added, heavens would not fall if India became a UNSC member as Pakistan had also served at the same position previously for seven times.
The AJK prime minister said: “The statement attributed to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi that heavens will not fall if India becomes Security Council member is highly incautious.”
In a brief statement in Urdu, released by the AJK press information department on Tuesday evening, PM Haider said: “Kashmiris do not want to see India even as a non-permanent member of a world body resolutions of which it has blatantly violated and disregarded over the past seven decades, let alone as permanent member [of the UNSC].”
Mr Haider was of the opinion that India becoming UNSC member meant accepting its hegemony in the region and increasing a vote against Pakistan’s time-tested friend China.
“Friends must be kept in mind and taken care of while formulating the foreign policy,” he said in a clear reference to China.
The AJK premier pointed out that Kashmiris had advanced their heroic political struggle for emancipation in spite of the worst-ever repression and atrocities by the fully equipped Indian army and such statements were ‘hurtful’ for them. Seeking clarification on the statement, Mr Haider said: “It [struggle against India] is a matter of life and death for the Kashmiris and, therefore, the foreign minister must clarify his statement.”
Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2020