Pakistan Foreign Minister sternly warns India

Pakistan Foreign Minister sternly warns India

ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Pakistan has decided to intensify its lobbying efforts to effectively highlight the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir.

He was addressing a news conference along with DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor in Islamabad on Saturday after a meeting of the special committee on Kashmir which discussed the future course of action on Kashmir dispute.

Giving details of the decisions taken in the meeting, the foreign minister said it has been decided to establish a Kashmir Cell in the Foreign Office in order to give impetus to the ongoing efforts and pursue a focused approach on Kashmir.

He said the foreign secretary has been directed to prepare a structure for the Kashmir Cell and present before him for approval.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said it has also been decided to establish Kashmir cells in Pakistan's embassies in the key capitals. He said a focal person in each of these embassies will ensure coordinated effort.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan is keeping a close eye on the evolving situation in occupied Kashmir and the process of consultations will continue.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi also warned the international community that India can carry out any false flag operation near the Line of Control to divert world attention from its illegal actions and human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. He said we have doubts on the Indian intent and actions. He, however, said the nation and its institutions are ready to respond to any Indian belligerence.

The Foreign Minister said the UN Security Council meeting on Kashmir is a big diplomatic victory of Pakistan and defeat of India. He however said this is a continuing process and the country will fight the Kashmir cause on all fronts.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said today's India is not that of Nehru but of Modi and there is a clear difference between the two.

Referring to the situation of occupied Kashmir, he said the Kashmir people offered Friday prayers at open places despite the imposition of curfew by the occupying forces. He said Kashmiri people resorted to protests after the prayers. This was only a reflection as to where the situation will turn once the curfew is lifted in the occupied territory.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the opposition parties have been given representation in the special committee on Kashmir. He said the opposition parties participated in the meeting today and gave the message of unity on Kashmir.

In his remarks, Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said occupied Kashmir has been turned into a prison by the occupying forces.

He rejected the Indian propaganda that Pakistan is supporting infiltration inside occupied territory.

General Asif Ghafoor said India is resorting to such propaganda to carry out a false flag operation. He, however, said Pakistan's armed forces are fully ready for defense of the homeland and give a befitting response to any aggression.

Responding to a question about the UN Security Council meeting on Kashmir issue, the Foreign Minister said the meeting could not be held if all the members did not have consensus. He said India made efforts to prevent the meeting, but its viewpoint was rejected.

The Foreign Minister said voices are being raised even within India against its act of abolishing the special status of occupied Kashmir and about 200 prominent people have filed a petition demanding that the act should be undone.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and human rights organizations have demanded for lifting of curfew from occupied Kashmir. He said this is a human rights issue and the world powers should fulfill their responsibilities in this regard.

To another question, the Foreign Minister said all options were discussed during today's meeting. He said an action plan will be prepared, which will be presented to the Prime Minister for approval.

Answering a question regarding the statement of the Indian Defence Minister, the DG ISPR said sane nations don not talk in this way.

He said Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint and both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers. He said the world should see into the statement given by the Indian defence minister.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said the armed forces of Pakistan are capable enough to respond to any aggression.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Chairman Kashmir Committee Syed Fakhar Imam were also present at the press conference.