KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan telephoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz on Monday night to brief him on the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) which is under lockdown since before August 5 when India unilaterally revoked its special status.
The prime minister took the crown prince into confidence over the developing situation in the occupied valley and the two also discussed the latest developments in the region. According to sources, this was Imran Khan’s second call to Prince Mohammed since India’s August 5 move.
PM Imran’s phone call to Crown Prince Salman came hours after US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France. The meeting saw Trump, more or less, backtrack on his earlier offer to mediate between Pakistan and India on Kashmir.
According to sources in the federal government, Pakistan is in contact through diplomatic and backdoor channels with a number of Islamic countries as part of its efforts to garner support on the Kashmir crisis and to force Indian government to lift curfew in the occupied valley.
They said an emergency meeting of the Orgainsation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is also expected soon as a result of these contacts. Pakistan is desirous to host this summit in Islamabad and is consulting the OIC authorities in this regard.
“Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has contacted the OIC secretary general as well as Turkey, Iran, Malaysia and other countries. Pakistan regards Saudi Arabia as a brother country which has helped us in every situation. Pakistan expects that Riyadh will continue its cooperation,” said an official while requesting anonymity.
Prior to his conversation with the Saudi crown prince, PM Imran addressed the nation on Monday evening, saying that Modi had made a ‘historic blunder’ by revoking IOK’s special status.
He said time had come for Pakistan’s Kashmir policy to take a ‘decisive’ turn. “Narendra Modi has made a huge blunder in arrogance … now this is a historic moment for the Kashmiris to realise their decades-long dream of achieving freedom from India,” he said, in his speech broadcast live on national television.
PM Imran pledged that he would act as an ambassador for Kashmiris and raise the issue at every forum. He urged Pakistanis to take out some time every week and hold demonstrations in support of Kashmiris.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM NEWS DESK