Qureshi discusses post-Pulwama situation with US NSA


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and US National Security Adviser John Bolton held a telephonic conversation on Monday to discuss the regional security situation following the Pulwama incident.

The purpose of the call, according to a press release issued by the Foreign Office (FO), was to provide Pakistan’s perspective on recent regional developments.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Indian aggression of Feb 26 was a violation of Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as the UN Charter. He also said that Pakistan’s response a day later was purely in self-defence against external aggression.

The foreign minister informed Bolton about the de-escalatory measures taken by Pakistan, reminding him of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to hand over the Indian pilot as a gesture of goodwill towards India and the country’s desire to have peace and stability in the region.

The US official told Qureshi that he and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, despite being actively engaged in talks with North Korea, were monitoring the Pak-India situation and kept contact with the leadership of the two countries to ensure that the security situation in the South Asia region did not deteriorate.

He reportedly appreciated Pakistan’s measures, which he said had helped lowering the tensions. He urged continued restraint on both sides.

The need for dialogue between Pakistan and India to find a peaceful resolution to all outstanding disputes was also emphasized, according to the FO press release.

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Qureshi cautioned against any future Indian misadventure, keeping in view the forthcoming elections across the border.

Bolton also appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process as both leaders agreed to work together to pursue the process.