In statement, foreign minister urges India to review its policies to resolve Kashmir issue
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday congratulated the “people of Pakistan, the armed forces and the political leadership for the positive change” in the country’s image following a statement by U.S. President Donald Trump during a visit to India.
On Monday, addressing a rally in Ahmedabad, Trump said Washington had a “very good relationship” with Islamabad. “Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one. Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability and the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” he said to an audience of mostly Narendra Modi supporters.
Reacting to the statement, Qureshi said its importance in the perception of Pakistan among the global community could not easily be dismissed. In a statement released by the Foreign Office, the minister said Pakistan was now “the solution” and not the “problem” that India had long tried to portray it as.
“Trump wants peace and stability in the region and has asked India to play a positive role in the area and extend a hand for promoting peace and stability in the region,” he said, adding this was only possible once the issue of Jammu and Kashmir were resolved.
“The current Indian government has further complicated an already complicated problem,” he said. “India’s measures of Aug. 5 have affected the identity of Kashmir and broken it into several parts… Kashmir has been under lockdown for 206 days. How can things progress in these conditions?” he added.
Referring to ongoing violent protests in Indian capital New Delhi, Qureshi said Pakistan’s stance on the disturbance caused by the anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act had been validated. “If conditions worsen, the void of peace in the region can affect the whole world,” he said, adding that India needed to review its behavior and policy.
According to Qureshi, the U.S. president had “made it clear that Pakistan is a partner of peace in the war against terrorism.” He claimed Pakistan’s progress in eradicating terrorism had been second to none. “Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process is there for the world to see … and Pakistan’s role in the region is being commended.”
Echoing Qureshi’s statement, Special Assistant to the P.M. on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan posted on Twitter that “Trump’s expression of friendship with Pakistan while standing in India a big development.” She added: “Trump’s statement is solid proof of our efforts for the establishment of peace.”