Dr Moeed

ISLAMABAD, Sep 15 (APP): Pakistan on Tuesday categorically rejected Indian stance at a virtual meeting of the National Security Advisors of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on projection of its political map and reiterated its resolve to continue working for economic diplomacy and security in the region.

“Pakistan is a responsible and mature state, and always honoured the United Nations (UN) resolutions on Kashmir. We do not want confrontation in the region. Our focus is on economic diplomacy and economic security,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf said talking to media persons.

“India’s walkout from the meeting was unfortunate. Our stance stood victorious as it was not Pakistan but India that had violated the United Nations Charter by changing the status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” he added.

He said it did not matter whether India accepted Pakistan’s political map or not because neither Kashmir had ever been part of India nor it could have any claim on Kashmir.

“Kashmir is a disputed territory and India cannot even have a claim on Kashmir under its illegal control. Pakistan’s political map displayed at meeting manifested aspirations of the Kashmiri and Pakistani people.”

Moeed Yusuf said if any country in the region was always bent upon confrontation then how could the dream of peace and prosperity be materialized.

“When India is not ready to listen to anyone, including the United Nations, how can issues be resolved through negotiations because there are certain parameters and requirements for engaging with each other.”

He said Pakistan had clearly conveyed to the host of the meeting that its stance was justified as it took pride in displaying its political map and would do so in future as well.
Three days prior to the virtual meeting of the SCO member states NSAs, he said, Russia requested all the participants to take part in a technological test before the meet-up.
During that test, Pakistan’s political map was on the wall of NSA office, located in the Prime Minister Office, along with flags.

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He said though it was not a formal meeting but India lodged a protest with Russia over Pakistan’s displaying its new political map.

Answering a question, Moeed Yusuf said Russia had informed Pakistan about India’s objection and as ‘it was simply an intimation, so we replied it appropriately after taking Russia into confidence.’

About Indian propaganda on social media that Russia had asked it not to attend the segment related to Pakistan, Moeed said had Russia also asked India not to attend the segment in which India had been absent most of the time.

The SAPM said India spoke prior to Pakistan as the session was conducted in an alphabetical order. “When I started speaking at the meeting my counterpart Ajit Doval walked out from the session and returned by the end of Russian delegate’s speech.

“This is the forum, which is ought to expand cooperation instead of creating new conflicts,” he remarked.

He said during the session, no country raised objection over display of the political map except India, which itself could not do so as its map was illegal and contrary to the international laws and norms.

Moeed said if India had displayed its map during the meeting, it would have been mocked and ridiculed for violating the United Nations Security Council resolutions by showing Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan as its part.

Highlighting key points of his speech, the special assistant said he had conveyed that Pakistan being an important member of the organization, stood with the SCO. “Pakistan also endorsed focus of the SCO that the world should follow and act in line with the UN norms and regulations.”

He said there was a need for the resolution of disputes to ensure better regional connectivity and prosperity, and it must be obligatory for them to follow the UN resolutions and international laws.

The SAPM said Pakistan always remained committed to regional peace and the ongoing Afghan peace process was an example. “Our focus is regional connectivity and economic security. We want to run Gwadar and complete China Pakistan Economic Corridor for connectivity to the Central Asian republics.”

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He said connectivity was a key component of the SCO forum as it had to extend to the Central Asian republics (CARs) and peace in the region was a prerequisite for better connectivity.

“If we talk of West, Pakistan is diligently pursuing the Afghan peace process. There can be no one other than Pakistan, who has endeavoured that much for Afghan peace,” he said.

Moeed Yusuf, however, stated that peace in Afghanistan could only be guaranteed by the forces within Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is a facilitator and if there are any hiccups in the Afghan peace process, Pakistan cannot be blamed for it.”

He said Russia desired connectivity and CARs were looking for energy supply in the region. But, he said, “our eastern neighbour has always been fuelling confrontation either it is with Pakistan or China. If any enemy country desires to isolate itself, it is fine. But, I am stating repeatedly that Pakistan being a responsible state is consistently working for uplift of the region and poverty alleviation.”

He said Pakistan did not think foul for anyone in the region but when the region was confronting with hegemonic and extremist designs of states like India, then how could one ensure East-West connectivity.

There were projects like CASA-1000 and TAPI that also included India, he said. “If India does not want to be part of it, what can other member countries do. When India wants to isolate itself, then why other countries should not continue with these projects.”

He said,“We stand for peace and economic security is our paramount focus. SCO is a vibrant multi-lateral forum and we shall benefit from it as much as we can.”

Moeed said Pakistan had won global acknowledgment in the fight against terrorism and COVID-19 and was ready to share its experiences with other nations.