04 Oct 2018
Pakistan Foreign Minister asks US to facilitate Indo-Pak talks
Written byAnjana Raghav ·
Islamabad is seeking an American role in facilitating talks between India and Pakistan because the two South Asian neighbors aren't engaging bilaterally, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, warning that absence of such a facilitation could lead to an escalation of tension.
But the latest Pakistani request in this regard has again been rejected by the US, Qureshi told a Washington audience yesterday.
We aren't able to move West because of East: Qureshi
The top Pakistani diplomat had meetings with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday, during which he had raised the issue only to be rejected.
"We want to move on the western side of the border, but aren't able to because of eastern side (of the border with India)," Qureshi said at the US Institute of Peace.
Lack of facilitation could lead to escalation of tension: Qureshi
"Now can you (US) facilitate? The answer from them is no," Qureshi said warning that this could lead to escalation of tension between the two South Asian countries.
"If that lack of facilitation leads to escalation and some of the statements that have come out of late haven't been very helpful," Pakistan Foreign Minister said in an apparent reference to remarks by Indian leaders.
Surgical strikes don't make sense, that's politics, claims Qureshi
"The so-called surgical strikes and stuff like that doesn't make sense. It does not, that's politics... there are elections around the corner," the 62-year-old Qureshi said. The new government of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Pakistan, he claimed, is not shy of engaging.
Indo-Pak meet: India backed off, says Qureshi without revealing reason
Referring to the canceling of his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New York, Qureshi alleged that India backed off.
However, he quickly skipped India's reasons for this glorification of terrorists by issuing postal stamps and brutal killing of India security personnel.
"If the Indians have a better option, share it with us. If disengagement...will stabilize the region, fine," Qureshi said.
We have issues. How do we resolve them, asks Qureshi
Qureshi who left for Pakistan after his meetings with Trump administration officials said, "It is unfortunate that the two countries are not engaging."
"Now. What does this government want? We want normalization. We want co-existence. You've got to recognize the reality. Pakistan is a reality. So is India. We have issues. How do we resolve them?," asked Qureshi, who belongs to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
Khan meant what he said about mending ties, says Qureshi
After coming to power, the first speech made by PM Khan was "that every step you (India) take towards peace, we will take two. And he meant it... It wasn't to please anyone," Qureshi said.
"He is too blunt a person to please people. He can be very straight...(and) can be very blunt. But he said that because he feels that way," Qureshi said.
There'll always be spoilers, we've to see our interest: Qureshi
Responding to a question on India's stand that talks and terrorism cannot go together, Qureshi referred to a statement by Khan while he was an opposition leader and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a trip to Delhi.
"There'll always be spoilers... But we've to see what's in our interest, what is in the regional interest," Qureshi said quoting what Khan had told Modi.
India has unrealistic approach on Kashmir dispute, says Qureshi
Soon, Qureshi raised the Kashmir issue.
"They (India)have to realize, and I think they were being simplistic, if they feel that everything that's wrong on the Indian side of Kashmir is all of Pakistan's making, that is an unrealistic approach," said Qureshi, Vice Chairman of PTI.
India, he said, should also revisit its policies and see why and how people have been alienated.