World should step in to defuse situation: Qureshi

FM writes letter to UNSC president; urges him to dissuade India from its current war-mongering


Our Correspondent February 22, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday urged the chief of premier global body for maintaining international peace and security to take note of "deteriorating security situation" in the region resulting from India’s rhetoric in the wake of the Pulwama attack.

In a letter to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) President Anatolio Ndong Mba, the foreign minister stresses the need for the international community to step in and dissuade India from its current war-mongering.

“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the Indian belligerence and threats of use of force against Pakistan,” wrote Qureshi.

The letter adds the frenzy created by the Indian government has resulted in reprisal attacks against Kashmiris in the valley and in several states.

Raking up the Kashmir issue once again, Qureshi goes on to say that the people of the valley are being targeted because they are demanding their inalienable right of self-determination.

Over 45 Indian paramilitary troops were killed in the attack in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Within moments of the Pulwama attack, Qureshi writes, India started accusing and threatening Pakistan without holding any investigation or coming up with evidence. New Delhi had based all of its allegations on a social media video "of completely suspect content", he added.

Citing the Indian prime ministers statements in which he spoke of a "befitting response", the foreign minister says New Delhi had deliberately ratcheted up hostile rhetoric against Pakistan owing to domestic political reasons.

Majority of Indians consider war, surgical strikes ‘best revenge’ of Pulwama attack

He says additionally, members of the Indian government are also threatening to "use water as a weapon", thus imperilling long-standing legal arrangements agreed between the two countries under the Indus Waters Treaty.

As a result of the "frenzy" created by the Indian government, Kashmiris have been suffering reprisal attacks in occupied Kashmir and several Indian states, Qureshi writes, reminding the UNSC president that the security council's resolutions on the Kashmir dispute call for the holding of a democratic and impartial plebiscite to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right of self-determination.

He says the people of occupied Kashmir are counting on the international community to take steps to urgently halt the horrific human rights violations being carried out against them by Indian forces.

"India must refrain from escalating the situation and enter into dialogue with Pakistan and the Kashmiris to ensure de-escalation and continued peace and stability in South Asia," he states.

The foreign minister says Pakistan, while strongly rejecting Indian allegations of its involvement, has offered to cooperate with New Delhi "if tangible evidence emerging from [a] credible investigation is shared".

Prime Minister Imran Khan has also announced Pakistan's readiness for talks with India on the issue of terrorism and other disputed matters, he adds.

"I request that this letter be circulated to the members of the Security Council and issued as an official document of the [UNSC]," Qureshi concludes.

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