Dialogue with India possible only if situation in IIOJK improves: FM Qureshi



Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that dialogue between Pakistan and India would only take place if the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) improves.

"Kashmir is not bilateral; rather an internationally recognised issue as there are numerous UN Security Council resolutions on it," FM Qureshi said in an interview with Khaleej Times.

The foreign minister added that if India and Pakistan want lasting peace in South Asia, they would have to discuss the IIOJK issue to find a resolution according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, as the issue cannot be put on the back burner.

Qureshi maintained that Pakistan was comfortable with the role the UAE can play to improve relations between India and Pakistan.

"We want to move ahead, but in order to get there, India, which is responsible for vitiating the environment will have to create a conducive and enabling environment, for the dialogue to take place," he added.

Qureshi said Pakistan would appreciate anyone and everyone including UAE to play a positive and constructive role, but the initiative will have to be indigenous.

Read more: 'Pakistan, India held secret talks to break Kashmir impasse'

"There have been some positive developments, as India says it wants to see a peaceful Afghanistan and region but Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control are suffering from unprovoked firing by India," the FM added.

The foreign minister said he was in the UAE to also discuss the evolving regional situation and the developments taking place in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan desires a peaceful, democratic and stable Afghanistan, but for that, the peace process has to be taken forward by the people of Afghanistan," he added.

Qureshi meets UAE counterpart

Foreign Minister Qureshi and his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan had a meeting in Abu Dhabi wherein both countries reaffirmed the desire to further strengthen their bilateral relations in different fields.

They reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, discussing ways to enhance cooperation in diverse areas including trade, investment, infrastructure, energy, technology, tourism and manpower.

PHOTO: RP

The two diplomats also discussed ways to provide fresh impetus to existing Pakistan-UAE ties. In this regard, they agreed to facilitate Ministerial level visits from both sides

Pronouncing the decision to roll over the $2 billion provided in loan by Abu Dhabi Fund to Pakistan, the UAE's FM affirmed his country's commitment to extend every possible support to Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Qureshi outlined his plans for showcasing the history and the future potential of Pakistan-UAE cooperation at EXPO 2020 Dubai to be held in October this year.

The foreign minister also lauded the positive contribution of the Pakistani Diaspora in the UAE towards the development and progress of both countries. He emphasised the need for nurturing and strengthening people-to-people linkages, as well as removing impediments that hamper travel between the two countries.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)