MULTAN-Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that there are some signs which indicate that Pak-India relations are moving towards improvement and “we hope that a thaw can take place in relations between the two arch-rivals.”

Addressing the participants of an iftar dinner here the other day, he said that at a time when Modi is going to form his new cabinet, Pakistan has already extended talks offer to India. He reiterated that the only solution to all issues between both the countries is dialogue. He said that he met with Sushma Sooraj in Bishkik in a very good environment. He said that Pakistan had closed commercial air space during escalation with India but now India had offered to open the space first. “We have given positive response on this offer,” he noted.

He claimed that the PTI came into government in very tough conditions. “We invite opposition to make a budget while keeping in view national resources and expenditures,” he pointed out. He declared that the government would offer relief to the lower class in the new budget. He asked the nation to wait as the tough time would end very soon and the government would overcome all crises. He questioned that why the opposition is using price hike as a pretext, suggesting that it should give suggestions for bringing price hike down instead of staging protest under its guise. He stressed that reasons behind price hike must be pinpointed and make public to let the masses know who the past government had destroyed the economy.

Referring to the arrest of Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, he said that both of them are members of parliament and production orders could be issued for them under the law. “But we need to see why they have been arrested. They used to sling-mud on our Armed Forces and ask foreign forces to invade Pakistan,” he added. Qureshi claimed that they provoked people and attacked forces. He said that they did not keep their oath, adding that the violators of constitution could not be loyal to Pakistan. The FM requested political leaders to review their demands regarding the violators of constitution.

The foreign minister was of the opinion that a free judiciary is need of the government, adding that the PTI government believes in supremacy of law. “Imran Khan himself worked for the independence of judiciary. Judges are respectable to us,” he asserted. He was of the opinion that if any revelations regarding judges surfaced there is a set procedure for processing it. “There exists supreme judicial council and judges can present their viewpoint there to avert the reference,” he explained.

He said that we raised voice on Palestine issue during OIC meeting and told the participants that peace could not be maintained in Middle East if Palestine issue is not resolved. He said that Golan Heights are part of Syria and the entire Muslim Ummah is concerned over the issue. He said that we also raised voice on Kashmir issue during OIC summit and drew the attention of Ummah towards this very important problem. “We have made it clear that Kashmir is not merely Pakistan’s issue rather it has become an international one,” he emphasised. He said that the voice of Kashmiris could not be suppressed and now the reports of international organisations working for human rights have also mentioned oppression on Kashmiris. He said that we also presented our viewpoint on Afghanistan. He said that he met with the foreign ministers of Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia and other Muslim countries during OIC meeting. He said that we had friendly ties with Iran, Saudi Arab and other countries. “Pakistan believes that the region cannot afford any war. We want peace in the region. US-Iran war will leave impacts on the entire region,” he pointed out. He said that during OIC summit, Pakistan drew the attention of member countries towards three issues. “We told them that we need to fight islamophobia and the West will listen to us if we talk to them jointly. Similarly, we need to tell them that the blasphemous sketches hurt the sentiments of entire Muslim Ummah,” Qureshi informed. Mr Qureshi disclosed that the reorganization of the PTI is underway, saying PTI is an organised political party.