Vibes from India 
positive: Pakistan


Picture retrieved @WIONews/Twitter
Picture retrieved @WIONews/Twitter

Dubai - Though India-Pakistan relations have been seeing some “positive developments”, it is up to the two countries to reach a decision.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 18 Apr 2021, 11:40 PM

Pakistan welcomes the UAE’s mediation in resolving issues with India, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, has said.

Though India-Pakistan relations have been seeing some “positive developments”, it is up to the two countries to reach a decision, he said.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Qureshi referred to some positive developments between the neighbour rivals. “For example, the recent recommitment to the 2003 ceasefire understanding is a good development because Kashmiris on both sides were suffering from unprovoked firing. The fact that India's Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) sent messages to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on National Day is a positive development. Also, a toned-down rhetoric is a positive development,” Qureshi said.

“The fact that India wants to see a peaceful Afghanistan and region means that they recognise it won’t happen if there are two important players not seeing eye to eye,” he said.

Qureshi is on a three-day visit to the UAE. He is expected to meet Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and senior UAE officials to discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest. The UAE is home to the second largest Pakistani community abroad.

Indian Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar was expected to land in the UAE on Sunday as well, but Qureshi said there was no meeting scheduled between the two ministers.

“We welcome third-party facilitation, but no matter what friends say, the initiative has to be indigenous. The political will has to be demonstrated by the leadership of India and Pakistan. The friends can be suggestive and facilitators, but ultimately it is the people of south Asia who have to sit and decide what kind of future they visualise for the posterity,” Qureshi said during the interview in Dubai on Sunday.

“Pakistan would appreciate anyone and everyone, including the UAE, playing a positive and constructive role.”

He said the UAE has a large Pakistani and Indian diaspora and the Arab country recognises their contribution to its development. “The UAE has good relations with both the countries and we are happy with the role they can play,” he said.

Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE’s Ambassador to the US, last week said that the UAE is mediating between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed neighboursrivals reach a “healthy and functional” relationship. In a virtual discussion, he said the UAE played a role “in bringing Kashmir escalation down and created a ceasefire, hopefully ultimately leading to restoring diplomats and getting the relationship back to a healthy level”.

Qureshi said that friends, including the UAE, have been urging the south Asian neighbours to sit and resolve issues through dialogue.

India will have to revisit some of the “unilateral actions that it took which is against the spirit of peace and bilateral discussion”. “If they are willing to revisit those unilateral actions, then Pakistan is willing to sit and talk,” he added.

“Today, if we would want to move ahead, we have to find a way. We are nuclear powers and can’t afford to go to war. We have outstanding issues, which can be resolved only through peaceful and consistent dialogue.”

If India, he said, creates a conducive environment, then Pakistan will be willing and discuss issues. “If we want lasting peace in the region, you can’t wish away the Kashmir dispute. It has to be discussed and a resolution has to be found according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he added.

Talking about the purpose of his UAE visit, Qureshi said: “I am here on a bilateral visit to meet the UAE’s foreign minister, who has been very forthcoming and supportive of Pakistan. This is a special year vis-à-vis the UAE, as we will be celebrating 50 years of friendship and diplomatic relations.”

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