Pak, Qatari FMs discuss regional peace

FM reiterates Pakistan’s readiness for maintaining regional peace and stability

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our correspondent
ISLAMABAD
Amid escalating tensions between the Washington and Tehran following the assassination of a top Iranian general, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday telephoned his Qatari counterpart to discuss regional peace. During the telephonic conversation, FM Qureshi discussed the unfolding situation in the Middle East with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s readiness to continue to play a role in preventing further escalation and maintaining regional peace and stability. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday made telephone calls to his Saudi and UAE counterparts to discuss regional peace. During the telephonic conversation with Saudi Arabia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, FM Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s deep concern over the recent developments and underscored the imperative of avoidance of conflict, exercise of maximum restraint and de-escalation of tensions.
He renewed the call on all parties concerned to abide by the UN Charter and principles of international law to settle differences through peaceful means. FM Qureshi also reaffirmed that Pakistan would neither let its soil be used against any other state nor become part of any regional conflict Sharing Pakistan’s perspective, he expressed the hope that the progress made in the Afghan peace process would be preserved and further advanced.
Tensions are rising between the United States and Iran after Soleimani, the architect of Tehran’s overseas clandestine and military operations as head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, had been killed on Friday in a U.S. drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.
The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday summoned Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia to convey Pakistan’s strong rejection of baseless and fabricated Indian allegations concerning the Sikh community. According to a press release issued by the foreign office, Indian envoy was summoned by Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri.
The DG (SA & SAARC) conveyed Pakistan’s strong denouncement of the Indian government’s motivated and mischievous allegations of “attack”, “vandalism” and “desecration” at the holy Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and “targeted killing” of a Pakistani Sikh youth in Peshawar, as part of its desperate attempts to divert attention from the continuing state terrorism in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) and systematic discrimination against minorities in India, reads the press release.
The DG (SA&SAARC) underscored that the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees equal rights to all its citizens and the Government is committed to protecting the rights of minorities, with zero-tolerance against any discrimination.
Pakistan emphasized that rather than pointing fingers towards others, India should focus on ensuring effective protection of its own minorities and their holy places of worship, including mosques, from repeated instances of desecration, hate crimes and mob lynchings.

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