Kashmir key pillar of foreign policy: Qureshi


Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said Kashmir was the key pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy and country’s stance on the issue is very clear. Talking to media before flying off to London to attend a conference on Kashmir, Qureshi said Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue was well-explained and clear. “We will continue raising our voice against Indian oppression on innocent and unarmed Kashmiris in the Indian-occupied valley.” The Foreign Minister said Pakistan will continue to extend its political, moral and diplomatic support for the struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. The Foreign Minister is expected to participate in the United Kingdom House of Commons’ debate, which is scheduled to be held on February 4, on the inquiry report by the British Parliamentarians’ All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) on gross human rights’ violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir. He will also address an international conference on Kashmir in British Parliament. He will also attend an exhibition on Kashmir in Park Lane on Tuesday. Earlier, he asserted that Kashmir has been the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and the state’s stance towards it has been ‘clear’. He further maintained that on Kashmir Solidarity Day, Pakistan will raise a strong voice to highlight Indian persecution and brutalities being perpetrated in occupied Kashmir. “Pakistan will continue to extend its political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris for their right to self-determination in accordance with United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions. Shah Mehmood Qureshi had a telephonic conversation with Kashmir Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, triggering a diplomatic spat between Pakistan and India, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indian-occupied Kashmir. Diplomatic sources said that FM Qureshi and Syed Ali Shah Geelani discussed the atrocities and grave human rights violations by the occupied Indian forces in held Kashmir. On the occasion, Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani lauded the role of Pakistan for extending continuous moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris struggling for achieving their right to self-determination. Geelani also appreciated Pakistan’s role in protecting people of Kashmir’s viewpoint at the global level and its stance on the dispute and human rights’ violations. Importantly, they discussed about the United Kingdom House of Commons’ debate, which is scheduled to be held on February 4, on the inquiry report by the British Parliamentarians’ All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) on human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights report on human rights violations in Kashmir and the Kashmir Conference of London were also discussed by the two leaders. Besides, a complete shutdown was observed in occupied Kashmir on Sunday in protest against Narendra Modi during his visit to the territory. There was a heavy deployment of police on the road leading up to Farooq s residence in Nigeen area of the city. Mirwaiz took to Twitter and stated that the Indian government has been in a panic mode ahead of Indian PM’s visit to the city.