Qureshi says Modi has undermined spirit of bilateralism


–Foreign minister says PM Imran will present Kashmir case forcefully at UNGA

–Says Pakistan is grateful to Iran for speaking against Indian aggression in IOK

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will forcefully present aspirations of Kashmiri people before the international community during his address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) next month.

Talking to the media in the federal capital, he said that the prime minister will also hold bilateral meetings and attend other events in New York on the sidelines of UNGA session.

The foreign minister acknowledged that under Shimla Agreement, both Pakistan and India were bound to bilaterally resolve Kashmir dispute. He, however, said that Modi should tell to the international community whether his August 5 measures were bilateral or unilateral in nature. “It is the Indian prime minister who has undermined the spirit of bilateralism,” he said.

He said that the unilateral steps in occupied Kashmir are in total breach of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the international laws. He pointed out that fourteen petitions have been filed in the Indian Supreme Court against these illegal steps. He said that it is the test of the Indian apex court whether it gives the judgement independently or succumbs to Modi’s pressure.

Qureshi voiced concerns over situation in occupied Kashmir saying the people are faced with shortages of essential commodities, including food items and live-saving drugs. “Kashmiri people are not being allowed to offer their Friday prayers,” he said.

The foreign minister said police in occupied Kashmir, which also comprises many Muslims, are perturbed over the situation. “This is the reason that the Indian authorities are taking back arms and weapons from police personnel,” he said.

Qureshi said that the world community is not oblivious to the situation in occupied valley. He said that the public opinion on Kashmir dispute is now changing at the international level.  He added that the Pakistani and Kashmiri community abroad is holding protest demonstrations against the Indian atrocities and persecution.  He further said that Pakistanis in London will stage a big protest in the coming days.

Responding to a question, the foreign minister said Pakistan is grateful to Iran for coming up with a strong stance in support of the oppressed Kashmiri people.

Earlier, the foreign minister held a meeting with National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairman Usman Yousaf Mobin and discussed a proposal to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis.