ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday said Pakistan will not stay quit on the Kashmir issue.

Speaking at a seminar on foreign policy organised by PILDAT here, the Foreign Minister said: “Pakistan will not stay quiet on the dangerous situation prevailing in occupied Kashmir. Pakistan will continue to sensitise the world about unspeakable sufferings of the people in occupied Kashmir and the Indian atrocities there.”

He said Pakistan had acted with responsibility but with firm resolve that Indian actions were unacceptable. “We downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended bilateral trade with India. Rail and bus services have also been stopped,” he added.

Qureshi said Pakistan was reviewing other existing bilateral arrangements with India. He noted that the “greater challenge for us today is how to stand up to Hindutava ideology and add greater momentum to our moral, political and diplomatic support for the just struggle of Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination while preserving peace.”

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan had undertaken a diplomatic surge in the wake India’s unilateral actions and security lockdown in occupied Kashmir. 

Afghan peace a shared responsibility. Pak-China ties anchor for regional stability

The Foreign Minister said the Indian brutality is cascading into a humanitarian disaster. He said the Indian actions had created a highly dangerous environment that could erupt any moment and engulf the entire region.

He said the international community including saner elements within India was speaking against Modi’s illegal steps in occupied Kashmir.

The Foreign Minister warned that India may resort to a false flag operation or a misadventure across the line of control to divert world attention from its atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

Qureshi made it clear that Pakistan is ready to respond to any  Indian aggression. Qureshi said resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people was part of Pakistan’s foreign policy.  He said resolution of this festering dispute was imperative for regional peace and stability.

Pakistan’s foreign policy, he said was not formulated in isolation; nor was it the monopoly of a single institution or individual.

“It is a dynamic process that seeks to effectively respond to a nation’s internal needs, and external environment. In a democratic polity, it must take into account and synergize the multitude of perspectives, assessments and interests,” he added.

In the conduct and implementation of this policy, he said, there was a continuity and consistency that goes beyond the government of the day. “The adage that there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests, holds true as ever,” the FM said.

He said Pakistan’s foreign policy was aimed at creating the conditions conducive for socio-economic development.

“It aims to work towards a peaceful neighbourhood in the context of which Pakistan’s progress can be ensured and to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity and seek a just, peaceful and lasting solution to the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he maintained.

Turning to Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister said there was hope of breakthrough in parleys between Afghan Taliban and the United States.

He said the world was convinced of the wisdom of the Prime Minister’s conviction that there is no military solution to Afghanistan and that dialogue and reconciliation efforts are the only way forward.

He said Pakistan will continue to facilitate the Afghan peace process as part of shared responsibility.

About Pakistan-China relations, the Foreign Minister said their tied were an anchor for regional stability. He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor holds the prospects of transforming Pakistan and the entire region. He added: “Our task is to promote inherent merits of the corridor and the benefits it will accrue.”

He said there were developments on the regional and global planes. Great Power and Regional Power competitions in the Middle East and broader Asia Pacific regions impact Pakistan directly.

“The perennial challenge for our foreign policy has been how to navigate the geo-political rapids, capitalize on the opportunities, and address the emerging challenges,” he remarked.

He recalled that on August 5, through its illegal and unilateral undertaking, India had sought to alter the internationally recognized disputed status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and to pave the way for changing its demographic structure and identity.

“India has reneged on solemn pledges made to the international community, the people of occupied Kashmir, and to Pakistan. It has trampled upon their inalienable right of self-determination. Simultaneously, it has reinforced its occupation with more troops, more guns, and more munitions,” he elaborated.

Pakistan-China Strategic Cooperative ties, he said, were the anchor of stability in the region.

President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, specifically its flagship project, the CPEC hold the prospect of transforming Pakistan’s and the region’s fortunes, by fostering win-win integration, he said.

Qureshi said one task of our foreign policy was to convince the world of the inherent merits of the Corridor, and the benefits it will accrue.

“We continue to illustrate this aspect, undaunted  by the contrary narrative driven by narrow and highly partisan perspective. We believe it would be a mistake for the world to relapse into another cold war. We still think that cooperation, rather than confrontation, should be the leading dynamic in global attires,” he said.