Islamabad: US National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a telephonic conversation to discuss regional security situation following the Pulwama incident.
The purpose of the call was to provide him Pakistan’s perspective on the recent regional developments.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Indian aggression of 26 February was a violation of Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as the UN Charter. He also said that Pakistan’s response on February 26 was purely in self-defence against external aggression.
Qureshi informed Ambassador Bolton about the de-escalatory measures taken by Pakistan. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to hand over the Indian pilot as a gesture of goodwill towards India.
Pakistan wished peace and stability in the region. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to New Delhi had also returned to Delhi after consultations. Pakistan would send an official delegation to India on 14 March 2019 to discuss the agreement on the operationalization of the Kartarpur Corridor. Pakistan was also ready to continue weekly contacts at the Military Operations Directorate level.
Ambassador John Bolton said that he and Secretary of State Pompeo, despite being actively engaged in talks with DPRK in Hanoi, monitored the developments between India and Pakistan and kept contact with the leadership of two countries to ensure that the security situation in the South Asia region did not deteriorate. He appreciated Pakistan measures which had helped lowering the tension and urged continued restraint on both sides.
The need for dialogue between Pakistan and India to find peaceful resolution to all outstanding disputes was also emphasized.
The Foreign Minister cautioned against any Indian misadventure, keeping in view the forthcoming elections. Ambassador Bolton concurred.
Ambassador Bolton also appreciated Pakistan’s important role in the Afghan peace process. Both leaders agreed to work together to pursue the process.