India faced expulsion from Iran's Chabahar project due to its wrong policies: FM Qureshi

Published July 23, 2020
In this Sep 2019 file photo, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. — AFP
In this Sep 2019 file photo, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. — AFP

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said India faced "expulsion by Iran in Chabahar project due to its wrong policies", adding that the country had "gradually strained" its relations with all its neighbours — Pakistan, China, Nepal and Bangladesh.

In a statement, Qureshi said India was spoiling its relations due to a “Hindutva mindset”. “The so-called impression of a ‘Shining India’ is over now owing to incumbent government’s policies of hatred and bias,” he added.

Earlier this month it emerged that Iran had dropped India from the Chabahar rail project citing delayed finances.

The railway project, which was being discussed between the Iranian Railways and the state-owned Indian Railways Construction Ltd (IRCON), was meant to be part of India’s commitment to the trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan to build an alternative trade route to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Read: India's two fronts

India is also set to lose an ambitious gas field project in the country that had been in the pipeline for the past 10 years.

India's Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said that Tehran would develop the Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf region "on its own" and might engage India "appropriately at a later stage".

Regarding Pakistan's relations with Bangladesh, the minister said Pakistan wanted to maintain good bilateral ties by "forgetting bitterness of past and moving towards a good future".

UNGA president to visit Pakistan

The foreign minister also said that the president-elect of the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador Volkan Bozkir, is due to visit Pakistan on Monday.

Qureshi said he would present to Bozkir Pakistan's position on Indian occupied Kashmir, which he said was suffering the "worst human rights situation" in the world.

The foreign minister said that he would also inform Bozkir about the atrocities committed by the Indian Army in occupied Kashmir.

Qureshi termed the visit of foreign media journalists to the Line of Control (LoC) in Chirikot sector a day earlier "an important step" in this regard. The journalists, he said, were escorted by the military to the region to witness the plight of residents living along the frontier.

Qureshi said the journalists had been invited by Pakistan to "show them the double standards of India".

"Will India follow suit and allow independent media to visit the occupied valley?" he questioned, adding that India was also "restricting movement of UN-deployed observers to hide the truth".

According to the Foreign Office, India has committed 1,697 ceasefire violations this year to date, resulting in 14 deaths and serious injuries to 133 civilians.

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