LONDON: Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has said the resolution of Kashmir issue and peace in Afghanistan is vital for prosperity of the region.
Addressing a lecture on the topic “New Pakistan Challenges and Opportunities” organised by International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) on Thursday, he said Pakistan wanted a peaceful solution of Kashmir dispute with India and soon after coming into power, Prime Minister Imran Khan offered India dialogue to resolve the dispute peacefully.
The minister said India had always rejected Pakistan’s offers for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute between the two countries. He shared that majority of people of Indian Occupied (IOK) Kashmir were not willing to live with India.
He informed the audience that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, Pakistan Army, and the people of Pakistan were on the same page and supporting the strategic initiatives taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He described Pakistan as a beautiful country but was misunderstood in the world. He said the country had free press and judiciary, adding no other country in the third world was even closer to Pakistan as far as the structure of the institutions was concerned.
The minister said formation of government under the leadership of Imran Khan was yet another evidence of political maturity of Pakistan. He described the government of PTI as a middle-class revolution against status quo and the corrupt system.
He said that opening of Kartarpur corridor was history in the making. “We will wait for outcome of Indian elections and we wait for India to rethink its position on Kashmir.
“Kashmiris don’t want to live with India. Kashmir is not a territorial issue but a humanitarian issue”, he remarked.
He said 33 top Indian journalists visited Pakistan to witness and cover the Kartarpur Corridor which also helped boost people to people contact.
The minister said war was no solution as both India and Pakistan had gone for three wars on Kashmir with no solution. The best solution to resolve the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India was to sit on the negotiating table and resolve this dispute peacefully, he added.
He said that through peace initiatives Pakistan had gone extra miles to improve relationship with India.
“We are fully aware of the importance of the USA,” he said, adding PM Imran Khan offered the best bet to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
He said that Pakistan also wanted good relations with Afghanistan and end of war in the country.
He said relations between Pakistan and USA are improving since the new government had taken power. He added President Trump’s letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with the PM was evidence of improving ties.
Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said this initiative remained the most important geo-economic project for Pakistan adding other countries including EU countries may like to benefit from the economic opportunities offered by CPEC.
Referring to Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and China, he said relations with the two countries had reached new heights.
To a question, he said Pakistan had played a vital role in bringing Iran and Saudi Arabia closer to each other on the issue of Yemen. He added that in a few weeks, there would be a positive news regarding Yemen.
The minister informed that PTI government and its leadership wanted end of corruption in the country adding that it was the PTI government which had already arrested influential people on the charges of corruption and sent them behind the bar.
He shared that not even a single scandal was reported regarding PTI’s government. He vowed to recover the looted Pakistani money abroad from the corrupt people.
The Minister later held a meeting with the IISS think tank notables. He was briefed about the best practices and structure of the IISS.
He expressed his desire to revamp Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) Islamabad on modern lines and make it a state-of-the-art think tank. The minister also discussed future collaborations between IISS and IRS.
(With additional input from Our Correspondent)