BEIJING, March 20 (APP):Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday urged the Indian leadership to change obsolete mindset, adopt a realistic approach and come to the negotiating table for peoples’ well-being as well as the peace and stability in South Asia.
“Pakistan and India have no other option but to hold dialogue as both the countries are nuclear powers and they cannot afford war,” he said while talking to Pakistani journalists at the end of his three-day visit to China.
He observed that millions of people in the two countries were living below the
poverty line and asked the Indian leaders to change their old mindset as the
world was changing at a very fast pace.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said that India was shy of sitting across the negotiating table with Pakistan in view of the forthcoming general elections, but Pakistan
could wait and was prepared to engage with the new government after Indian elections.
Pakistan, he however said, wanted peace but would not compromise on its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
About opening of Kartarpur corridor, he said the world community had acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s initiative and now this step was being termed as “Kartarpur spirit”.
He hoped that all the modalities would be finalized during the next meeting of the officials of Pakistan and India on April 2 and the Sikh pilgrims from across the
globe, would be able to participate in the 550th birth anniversary of their religious leader.
The Foreign Minister criticized Indian leadership for excluding words Muslim or mosque in their condemnation against terror attacks at two mosques in
Christchurch, New Zealand where more than 50 Muslims were martyred.
He also lamented the way the Kashmiri students were attacked and expelled
from the Indian universities after Pulwama incident and said the minorities were
living with complete harmony and without any hatred in Pakistan and Hindu
brethren were celebrating Holi festival with complete religious freedom and enthusiasm.
Acknowledging role of China during recent escalations of tension with India and
the listing issue at UN Security Council, he said that China had once again proved that it was all-weather and time-tested friend of Pakistan, adding, “Our confidence
into our strategic partner, has increased manifold.”
On the first China-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue held in Beijing, he opined that it was decided to upgrade the consultation process between the two countries at foreign ministers level. However, this meeting was held in the backdrop of escalating tension as a result of Indian violation of Pakistan’s airspace and its importance had further increased as the situation in the region had changed.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi informed that he shared Pakistan stance, discussed Afghan reconciliation process and role of Pakistan as a facilitator and took China into confidence over these issues.
About meeting of all political parties of Pakistan in the Chinese capital, he said the parliamentary leaders of all political parties assembled to demonstrate their support for the CPEC and some elements were trying to create hurdles through negative propaganda.
“All the political parties unanimously endorsed this project and there is a complete national consensus on it. All the projects including the projects, prioritized for the second phase, will be completed,” he added.
He said the two sides discussed the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran
Khan to China for participation in the Belt and Road Forum to be held in next
He said the prime minister will have a bilateral meeting with his Chinese
counterpart on April 25 and other top leaders.
The prime minister also admired President Xi Jinping vision and his leadership
and wanted to follow the Chinese model of poverty alleviation, he added.
Pakistan’s presence at the BRF would be very significant as the CPEC was flagship project of BRI and Pakistan would share its experience and achievements with the world leaders, he said
Responding to a question about foreign direct investment, he said the government had removed all the bottlenecks and if an investor had a complaint, he could directly approach him.
He said the government was committed to providing security to the Chinese investors in Pakistan and added the masterminds behind Karachi counsel general attack had been unmasked and culprits involved in this crime had been arrested.
Regarding new visa system, he said this step would help promote tourism in the country and pointed out that owing to open-up policy, around 175 countries would benefit from this system and foreigners could visit the beautiful landscape, places
and people of Pakistan.
About the current political situation, he said that people had overwhelmingly voted
PTI into power and rejected the agenda of PPP and PML-N. “We have invited the opposition to join hands with the government for the national cause,” he added.
He said that Indian was trying to isolate Pakistan but the government would foil
its negative tactics with the support of people and friendly countries.
Expressing pleasure over the holding of PSL cricket matches in Pakistan, he appreciated the people of Karachi who visited the stadium with their families
while cricket fans from across the globe watched these matches on television.
He said under the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, all the matches of the competition would be played in Pakistan next year.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said that the Pakistan Day would be celebrated with renewed commitment and enthusiasm.
To yet another question, he said the government had adopted a clear stance
over the money laundering issue. The people involved in this crime would be
brought into justice and terror financing would be choked, he added.