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India not ready to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan on Kashmir: Shah Mahmood

31 July, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that India was neither ready to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan on Kashmir dispute nor was it accepting third-party mediation.

Talking to the media in Islamabad, Qureshi said, “Kashmir is a disputed territory and any demographic changes in occupied Kashmir will not be acceptable to Pakistan as well as Kashmiri people.”

Responding to a question regarding the Afghan peace process, the foreign minister said, Pakistan is not a guarantor but only a facilitator in the Afghan peace process.

“The entire onus of the Afghan peace process cannot be put on Pakistan,” Qureshi said, adding that Pakistan maintains that it is the shared responsibility of all the stakeholders to take forward the peace process.

Qureshi added that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to have a meeting with the Taliban to woo them for the intra-Afghan dialogue.

He said Pakistan was moving forward in good faith. “The convergence was seen on Afghan issue during a meeting between PM Imran and US President Donald Trump.”

This opened a new chapter in Pakistan-US relations, he added. Qureshi further said the US visit remained very successful in achieving the objectives and this stands also reflected in the restoration of suspended assistance.

Moreover, the foreign minister said a conference of African envoys will be organised at the foreign office after the UN General Assembly session in September.

“Our aim is to prepare a far-reaching Look Africa Policy to improve trade and economic relations with the African countries,” Qureshi said.

Says any demographic changes in occupied Kashmir will not be acceptable to Pakistan and Kashmiris

The foreign minister added, the commerce advisor has also taken a very important decision of shifting the commercial consulars in Europe to the African countries in order to exploit the trade potential with this important continent.

Meanwhile, a 10-member delegation of European parliamentarians, including MEP Richard Corbett, leader of the Labour Party in Europe, MEP Irina Von Wiese, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and MP Nazia Rehman, called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday.

During the meeting, they discussed the deteriorating human rights situation in India-held Kashmir (IHK).

The delegation is on an eight-day visit to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

While highlighting the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, the foreign minister appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora and those involved in raising the issue of gross human rights violations in IHK in Europe and beyond.

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