Pak boycotts OIC meeting

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday announced that Pakistan will not participate in Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit being held in Abu Dhabi in protest against sending invitation to Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. Addressing the joint session of the parliament, Qureshi said he contacted OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen twice after the Pulwama incident to urge it to withdraw the invitation to Indian Minister for External Affairs. He said in his latest letter to the OIC last night, he regretted attending the forum if the invitation to India is not rescinded. Meanwhile, the House has unanimously approved resolution against Indian aggression. FM Qureshi said that Pakistan wanted peace in the region and decision to release Indian Fighter Pilot Abhinandan Varthman is a gesture to de-escalate the situation. In an interview with CNN, Qureshi said India had created a tense situation in the region violating Pakistan airspace and international laws. The minister said Pakistan never wanted escalation as Prime Minister Imran Khan has several times said that if India takes one step, we will take two. He said Pakistan will not allow any organization or individual to use its soil against any country including India. He added if India has solid evidence about Pulwama incident, it should sit and talk over it. Qureshi reiterated that United Nations and the US can play a significant role in de-escalation of tensions in the region. He said President Trump and other high officials have acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts toward peace in Afghanistan. The minister said the incumbent government wants to concentrate on fixing the economic issues of the country and bold measures have been taken to eradicate corruption from Pakistan. Foreign Office spokesperson DR Mohammed Faisal said Pakistan believes that with a record of horrendous human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir, India has no legal or moral ground to be present at OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting. The spokesperson in a statement said India is a country with unresolved disputes with Pakistan, a founding member of OIC. India has consistently rejected OIC resolutions on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, adopted at the OIC Foreign Ministers and Summit levels. Only last year, India rejected the OIC resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir by stating that India dismisses it with the contempt it deserves. The spokesman added that Pakistan’s strong objections in this regard have been clearly communicated. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan will not participate in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. Earlier, talking to Radio Pakistan’s News and Current affairs Channel, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal says Pakistan is a peace loving country and always wants good relations with all neighbors. He said Pakistan will respond to any aggression imposed on it.  He said Pakistan is always ready for dialogue and negotiations but it is India that is evading it. He said all issues can be resolved through talks only. He said Pakistani nation has shown a firm resolve against hostility by its neighbor. On the announcement of Prime Minister to release Indian pilot, he said it is a peace gesture and also in line with Islamic ethical values. On a question regarding the provision of dossier on Pulwama attack by Indian government, he said our technical experts will review it and then respond to India.