Qureshi postpones Japan visit

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono on Monday and told him that he had decided to postpone his upcoming visit to Japan due to the tense situation between Pakistan and India after the Pulwama attack on February 14.

In the aftermath of the attack that killed at least 44 Indian soldiers, tensions have risen between India and Pakistan as India has accused its neighbour of facilitating the attack, while Pakistan has rejected the allegations. India has also started a crackdown against freedom fighters in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) as Kashmiris have been facing persecution and abuse from Hindu extremist mobs.

The foreign minister in his conversation said that it was necessary for him to stay in the country in such a sensitive context. Both foreign ministers have agreed to reschedule the visit at the earliest.

 

According to reports, FM Qureshi was scheduled to leave for Japan on February 24 and stay till February 27, and was expected to hold a meeting with his Japanese counterpart.

Qureshi was scheduled to hold important discussions and meetings with various Japanese dignitaries, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He was also set to deliver a speech at the Japan Institute of International Affairs and interact with Japanese intelligentsia.

Japan, a key economic partner of Pakistan, has made important contributions in supporting Pakistan’s development efforts over the years.

QURESHI CALLS CHINESE COUNTERPART:

The foreign minister also telephoned Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday and briefed him on the evolving regional situation.

The foreign minister thanked China for its steadfast support to Pakistan, said the official press release.

FM Qureshi underscored Pakistan’s desire for peace and stability in the region and resolution of all issues through negotiations and dialogue with India. He also highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan to de-escalate the situation.

State Councilor Wang Yi thanked his Pakistani counterpart for the call and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for peace.

Yi agreed that the unfolding regional situation was serious with implications for peace and security of the entire region. He also acknowledged Pakistan’s invaluable contributions in the fight against terrorism for which Pakistan has paid a heavy price.

The two foreign ministers agreed to stay in contact with each other to discuss regional developments.

POLISH COUNTERPART:

FM Qureshi also telephoned his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz and briefed him about the evolving regional situation after Pulwama attack in Indian held Kashmir.

He stressed that despite baseless allegations and aggressive rhetoric emanating from India, Pakistan has offered cooperation in investigating the incident and asked India to share any actionable evidence in this regard.

The foreign minister said Pakistan is a peace-loving country and remains committed to peace and stability in the region.

He also urged the Polish counterpart to play his role in de-escalation of tensions in the region as Poland is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Also, United Kingdom Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt made a telephonic call to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Discussing the regional issues, they expressed satisfaction over existing bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UK.

They discussed the prevailing tense situation in Indian held Kashmir after Pulwama attack.

FM Qureshi briefed him about the dangerous situation in Indian occupied Kashmir after the incident and urged the United Kingdom to play its due role to decline the tense situation between Pakistan and India as UK is a permanent member of UN Security Council.

Jeremy Hunt said the Pakistan and India should adopt the dialogue way for peaceful resolution of their issues.

Talking to Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Noorul Haq in Islamabad, FM Qureshi said Pakistan is achieving significant successes at the diplomatic level in the world.

He said the government is making sincere efforts for establishing cordial relations with all countries in the world including Islamic Ummah.

The religious affairs minister felicitated the foreign minister for effectively highlighting harmony agenda of the government at the world level.