Pakistan FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi gives a stern warning

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Pakistan FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi gives a stern warning

ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday said the Kashmir dispute continued to cast an ominous shadow over the future of nearly one-fifth of humanity, and without doubt, poses one of the most serious challenges to regional and international peace and security.

He said several recent developments in South Asia had highlighted yet again, the inherent dangers of letting the dispute remain unresolved, and unattended.

In a message to International Conference on “Kashmir Turmoil: Emerging Threats to Peace and the Role of the International Community”, being held in Ankara on November 20-21, he said, the illegal and unilateral steps taken by India in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) on August 5 had brought the entire region to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Fanned by a vitriolic and extremist ideology, he said, Islamophobia continued to grip India in its stranglehold, and was manifested in the growing incidents of discrimination, victimization, targeting and lynching of Muslims.

The minorities’ rights to life, liberty and fundamental freedoms are being held hostage to the nefarious designs of the Hindutva ideologues, he said and added that sadly, the entire Indian state apparatus was being used to shield and protect those who preach and practice this divisive ideology.

A systematic campaign of incitement to hatred against Muslims as well as Pakistan is underway to swell the rank and file of hate mongers, he added.

Qureshi said the recent decision of the Indian Supreme Court regarding the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid by adherents of the same ideology once again laid bare the reality of India’s secularism and the status of its vulnerable minorities.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan was desirous of peace and stability in South Asia through the resolution of all outstanding disputes, in particular the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, through dialogue and in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Sadly, all our overtures towards peace have not only been rebuffed, but responded to by further escalation by India, he said, adding, under these circumstances, the role of the international community had never been more important.

Qureshi expressed gratitude to the people and the Government of the Republic of Turkey for their principled and courageous stand on the resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions as well as for making unequivocal calls for addressing the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in IOJ&K.

He expressed the hope that the conference would join the numerous calls of conscience on the international community and the relevant UN institutions to act decisively to fulfil their legal and moral obligations towards the people of the occupied territories.