Adviser to the P.M. on National Security tells virtual summit Islamabad seeks regional peace and connectivity
Pakistan scored a diplomatic victory over India on Tuesday after a virtual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)’s national security advisers refused to censure Islamabad over Delhi’s objections to its new political map.
Adviser to the P.M. on National Security Mooed Yusuf told journalists that India had protested the display of the map behind him and demanded it be removed during his speech to SCO member states. He said that Islamabad had responded in writing, making it clear that displaying the map was its right and was in accordance with international law.
Pakistan had on Aug. 4—a day prior to the first anniversary of India’s abrogation of Kashmir’s special constitutional status—unveiled a new political map, underlining the disputed status of the Kashmir region. Yusuf said Russia had supported Pakistan’s stance, and no other country had raised any objection to it.
“My Indian counterpart [Ajit Doval] boycotted Pakistan’s speech during the meeting,” he said, adding that he had also skipped around 5 minutes of Russia’s speech. He said Pakistan had maintained its principled stance of raising the issue of Kashmir at the forum. “We stressed that Pakistan wishes to give a corridor to the world and believes in connectivity,” he said.
Speaking to media on Wednesday, Yusuf stressed that India’s actions showed the country was not interested in bilateral talks. “How can you progress [in ties] if the other side is showing such an attitude?” he questioned, adding that Pakistan wanted regional peace.
Earlier, in a series of tweets, the adviser to the P.M. said he was honored to represent Pakistan at the SCO. “I highlighted Pakistan’s continued commitment to peace in the region. Pakistan is committed to working with SCO member states to achieve peace and stability, economic security, and connectivity,” he said, adding he had also highlighted India’s illegal actions in India-held Jammu and Kashmir and noted they posed a threat to regional peace.
“I also apprised counterparts of Pakistan’s deep commitment to peace in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and owned peace process,” he said. “Pakistan has long held that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a negotiated political settlement is the only way forward,” he added.
Hoping that Afghan stakeholders would seize this historic opportunity to steer their country toward a comprehensive political settlement, Yusuf said Pakistan would continue to play the role of facilitator in the peace process.
“No outside actor should be seen as the guarantor of peace in that country. The process must be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led,” he added.