Pakistan is not looking at military action in the row with India over Kashmir, said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, as tensions flare-up between the neighbouring countries after India revoked the special status granted to Kashmir.
We are rather looking at political, diplomatic, and legal options to deal with the prevailing situation,” he said. Pakistan has decided to stay vigilant because Indian can start a false flag operation, similar to Pulwama, anytime. “We need to be prepared as India can react anyway,” he said while addressing the media on Thursday in Islamabad. When asked what security measures Pakistan has taken, he said: “We are looking at political, diplomatic and legal actions.”
Referring to the recent situation in Kashmir, he said entire Kashmir has been turned into a jail. Nine hundred thousand Indian officers are deployed in Indian-administered Kashmir. “At least one soldier is deployed outside every house,” he remarked, adding that so many soldiers have not been deployed anywhere in the world.
“I want to ask India what they are trying to prove by taking 14 million Kashmiris in custody.” Will the Indian soldiers crush the protesters who will stage a revolt once the curfew has been lifted?
The foreign minister reminded the Indian government of their previous commitments and statements made in regard to the Kashmir issue.“Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had, not once, but countless times, made at least 14 promises and commitments that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure of its people,” he remarked.
On October 27, 1947, Nehru, in a telegram to the then Pakistan’s prime minister, said, “I would like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the state. We have repeatedly made the question public of the accession in any disputed territory or state which must be decided in accordance to the wishes of the people and we adhere to this view.”
On 31 October, Nehru, wrote again that “Kashmir’s accession to India was accepted by us at the request of the Maharaja’s government and the most numerously representative popular organisation in the state which is predominantly Muslim. Even then it was accepted on the condition that as soon as law and order were restored; the people of Kashmir would decide the question of accession.”
Qureshi reminded the Indian government and the international platforms of the statements of Nehru.
On November 3, 1947, Nehru had written: “We made it clear to the people of Kashmir that we would ultimately abide by the verdict of the plebiscite. We have taken the issue to UN and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation, we cannot go back on it. We have left the question of the final decision to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision. The people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us. Let them go, by all means, we will not keep them against their will, however painful it may be to us. I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the people of the UN and Kashmir, it is our conviction.”
India’s representative to the UN Krishna Menon had said on January 24, 1957: “So far we are concerned there is not one word in the statement that I have made in this Security Council which can be interpreted to mean that we will not honour international obligations. I want to say for the purpose of record that there is nothing that has been said on behalf of the Indian government which in the slightest degree indicates that the government of India or the union of India will dishonour any international obligations it has undertaken.”
Qureshi said that in his meeting on Thursday morning with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and EU Commission Vice President, he discussed the possible escalation of tensions in Kashmir.
In his discussion, he said that Mogherini emphasised that the only solution to the recent tensions is dialogue. Qureshi said Pakistan has always encouraged dialogue, but it is India that has always refused it or avoided it.
“When Trump offered for mediation, we welcomed it, but who refused it?”
Pakistan has not closed its airspace. “This is fake news,” he added.
“Our Kartarpur commitment stands,” he remarked. Qureshi said we respect all religions and don’t like to become an obstruction between people-to-people people contact.
Qureshi said we are ready to welcome but India is the one who has not stood by their commitments.
“We have asked for the suspension of bilateral trade with India but that does not apply for Afghanistan,” he remarked, adding that Pakistan’s friendly relations with Afghanistan are still intact. “We want to maintain friendly relations with our Afghan brothers and respect them,” he said.
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