FM Qureshi reiterates desire for better relations with India

Direct contact is necessary to reduce the tension prevailing between the two countries, says FM Qureshi

News Desk March 07, 2019
FM Qureshi meets Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood. PHOTO: RADIO PAK

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said Islamabad desires better bilateral relations with New Delhi and wants to de-escalate tensions with the country's eastern neighbour, Radio Pakistan reported.

FM Qureshi made the statement during his meeting with Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood and added that "direct contact is necessary to reduce the tension prevailing between the two countries". He further said that the two countries will hold discussion on March 14 in New Delhi.

The high commissioner and the foreign minister also exchanged views on Pak-India relations during the meeting.

Sohail Mahmood will depart for New Delhi after the meeting.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday thanked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for timely intervention amid simmering tensions between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.

Briefing the Pak-China Economic Cooperation Conference, Qureshi appreciated the advice offered by Chinese leadership post-Pulwama. “China offered mediation and urged for dialogue,” he elaborated.

Qureshi said the recent tension between Islamabad and New Delhi is reducing and Pakistan has decided to send back its High Commissioner to New Delhi after consultations.

Grateful to US for timely intervention: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

He said Pakistan has increased the diplomatic efforts and Prime Minister Imran Khan was fully committed to conducting country’s foreign policy in honour, dignity, national interest and as per the aspirations of the people of Pakistan.

On deepening ties with the northeastern neighbour, the foreign minister said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) reflects collective desire to usher the region into an era of shared prosperity.

As CPEC takes the strategic partnership between the two neighbours to another level, this approach is a step further for Pakistan to develop a people-centric economy, Qureshi maintained.

He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to becoming a “corruption-free” nation. “Measures taken now will pay sizeable dividends in years to come,” the foreign minister remarked.

Pakistan takes another step towards reducing tensions with India

In addition, Qureshi thanked countries including the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia for their role in de-escalating tensions between Pakistan and India.

The foreign minister said the recent successful visit of Saudi Crown Prince to Pakistan is a testament of growing international confidence on our country. He said we are also collaborating with our foreign partners to exploit the real potential of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood, who was recalled after the Pulwama attack, is returning to New Delhi while the talks on Kartarpur Corridor would also go ahead as planned.

The announcement was made by the Foreign Office in a statement issued after the acting High Commissioner was invited to the ministry. The word ‘invitation’ itself reflected a sign of thaw. In recent weeks, the two countries mostly summoned each other’s diplomats because of the ongoing tensions.

The statement said the acting Indian envoy was conveyed that the Pakistani High Commissioner was returning to New Delhi after completion of consultations in Islamabad.

The envoy was told that Pakistani delegation would visit New Delhi on March 14 as planned for talks to finalise the modalities for the Kartarpur Corridor. Indian team would then pay a return visit to Islamabad on March 28

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