ISLAMABAD, Apr 19 (APP):Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that dialogue between Pakistan and India will only take place if there were improvement in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The minister, in an interview with Khaleej Times, said Kashmir was not a bilateral issue but it was an internationally recognized issue, and there were numerous UN Security Council resolutions on it.
“India and Pakistan are obliged to do certain things. If we want a lasting peace in South Asia, we cannot wish away the Kashmir dispute.”
The Kashmir issue would have to be discussed and a resolution would have to be found according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people, he stressed.
Qureshi said, “We successfully have been able to defeat India’s design to diplomatically isolate Pakistan.”
India had organized a smear campaign against Pakistan, which had succeeded in exposing it, he added.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said he was in the United Arab Emirates to discuss the evolving regional situation and the developments which were taking place in Afghanistan.
A conference was being organized in Istanbul, Turkey and it would give him an opportunity to hear the viewpoint of others, he added.
The minister said the UAE had a large Pakistani community, which had contributed to its development.
He said Pakistan was comfortable with the role the UAE could 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 said he was on a bilateral visit to the UAE and was not there for an India specific agenda.
The minister said Pakistan welcomed third party mediation and it had no issues with that. “But no matter what the friends like UAE say. The initiative will have to be indigenous. Pakistan will appreciate anyone and everyone including UAE to play a positive and constructive role.”
He said there were some positive developments that were needed to be recognized. For example, the recent re-commitment to the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding was a good development.
Kashmiris, he said. on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) were suffering on account of unprovoked firing across the LoC.
He said the Prime Minister of India sent messages to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Pakistan’s National Day on March 23. It was a positive development as there was a change in rhetoric and India wanted to see a peaceful Afghanistan and a peaceful region. “There is an overall support for a forward movement.”
He said he discussed the visa issue with the UAE foreign minister last time. “Since my discussion which took place last December there is an improvement on the visa issue. Families are being allowed in and there are some concessions that have been made.”
He said Pakistan desired a peaceful, democratic and stable Afghanistan. “The peace process has to be taken forward by the people of Afghanistan.”