Indian moves to spin IOK’s situation out of control: Qureshi

Foreign Minister says Afghan Taliban willingn for reduction in violence: FM

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UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said after meeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the repressive measures taken by India after annexing Kashmir in August last year have caused heightened tensions and are threatening international peace and security in South Asia.

The situation is very delicate and could spin out of control, he told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York. The foreign minister spoke a couple of hours after the Security Council discussed the grave situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir for the second time in five months.

Pakistan, he said, was gratified that the 15-member Council has once again considered the Jammu and Kashmir situation.

He reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia through political dialogue, diplomatic solutions and respect for human rights.

“It also reaffirms that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute, (its) final disposition must be done in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the aspiration of the Kashmiri people,” he added.

Replying to a question, Qureshi said it is India — not Pakistan that has refused talks. Pakistan has never shied away from a bilateral engagement, but unfortunately the Indians are not prepared to engage, he said, noting that as soon as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power in August 2018, he made overtures to India which were unfortunately rebuffed.

During his press talk, Qureshi said he had written letters to the secretary-general and the council president voicing Pakistan’s concerns over India’s threatening moves and demanding action to resolve the decades-old Kashmir dispute.

Responding to a question, he said that as Kashmir is on the agenda of the Security Council, it cannot just wish away the issue that is alive and serious.

“The UN’s position is very clear,” the foreign minister said, citing the secretary-general’s statement of August 8. Guterres had then said, “the position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.

After his talks with the UN chief, the foreign minister also held meetings with the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria and the President of the Security Council for the month of January, Dang Dinh Quy of Vietnam , that focused mainly on the situation in Kashmir.

At the end of his whirlwind visit to New York, he left for Washington to continue his mission aimed at easing tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

“It will be a partner for peace.,” the Foreign minister said, adding, “To defuse tensions and promote peace, I visited Tehran and Riyadh earlier this week and will visit Washington tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, in a video message on Thursday Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Afghan Taliban have expressed willingness for reduction in violence.

He said this is a step toward peace agreement in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister said talks between the United States and the Taliban had been continuing for some time and Pakistan desired some progress in the talks. He said Islamabad believed that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the region need peace and stability.

Qureshi said that Pakistan has considerably fulfilled its responsibility regarding the Afghan peace process. He said we desire that the entire region moves towards peace, which benefits both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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