MULTAN: Unsettled by his failure to quell ragging street protests in India over his highly divisive policies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is desperate to take the global spotlight off his authoritarian measures to muzzle dissent.
Pakistan has repeatedly intimated the United Nations about India’s sinister plans to launch a “false-flag operation” against Pakistan as its forces have cut the Line of Control (LoC) at five places and deployed missiles there, according to the foreign minister.
The global body has been informed that New Delhi could go for a military misadventure against Pakistan in an attempt to divert the world's attention from its internal chaos and the continuing siege of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a news conference on Sunday.
“The UN has been informed about the threat to peace and security of the region from India,” he added.
Qureshi said the whole world was noticing the recent developments in the neighbouring country. “Protest demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are being staged not only across India but also in important world capitals,” he said. “The Modi government's ideology of Hindutva has been exposed to the whole world.”
The Modi regime hid its brutalities in IOJK through an information blackout but it could not conceal ragging protests in its cities, which were jointly held by Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits and other communities, he added. Even the chief ministers of five Indian states have refused to impose the CAA.
“The Indians today are divided into two groups. One section is supporting secularism while the other is working to impose the extremist Hindutva ideology,” Qureshi said, adding that a former Indian minister, P Chidambaram has also denounced the CAA as an unconstitutional law. He hoped the Indian Supreme Court would strike it down.
“Some 25 people have died while hundreds of peaceful citizens have been arrested by the police for protesting the CAA,” he added. “The CAA has, in fact, unmasked the extremist Modi regime, damaging the country's image internationally.”
Qureshi was optimistic that the OIC meeting scheduled to be convened in Islamabad in April 2020 would “raise an effective voice on the IOJK situation”. “It has already expressed its concerns over human right violations in the valley,” he added.
To a query, the minister said the Modi government was not expecting any reaction from the IOJK people. “Even those Kashmiri leaders who supported India in the past are now voicing concerns over the Indian government's actions.”
The minister said China had also demanded of the UN military observers to brief the UN Security Council.
He lauded the American-Pakistanis for effectively presenting Pakistan's viewpoint in the United States and urged them to play their role in countering the Indian lobby. “The US Congress has discussed the Kashmir issue in three different sessions,” he added.
Kuala Lumpur summit
The foreign minister was of the view that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad tried to unite the Ummah by hosting a summit of Muslim nations in Kuala Lumpur in order to launch socioeconomic projects and address issues related to Islamophobia, and Pakistan respected Mahatir’s efforts.
“Pakistan has good relations with all Muslim countries and would try its best to remove misunderstandings among them,” said Qureshi. “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would visit Pakistan in February, while the Pakistani leadership would also visit Malaysia in the near future.”
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Qureshi said the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 was neither an NRO nor was it meant for hiding corruption. “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has zero tolerance for corruption,” he added.
He lamented that it had become a trend to criticise the government's moves, saying that earlier the opposition was calling for amendments to the NAB laws but now it is criticising the government without studying the new ordinance.
Laying to rest the opposition’s concerns that the business community is worried and the economy is not heading forward due to tight policies, Qureshi said it is true some people were arrested due to procedural flaws and others were also in a state of fear; however, the NAB ordinance would help promote business by addressing the procedural flaws.
The minister advised the Pakistan Peoples Party, which had also been demanding change in the NAO 1991 to talk to the government and present its recommendations instead of opting for criticism.
Qureshi vowed that the government would not allow any misuse of public money.
Qureshi rejected any chance of a clash among the state institutions over the death penalty awarded to former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf by the special court in the high treason case.
Qureshi said, “Parliament, the executive and the judiciary have defined roles as per the Constitution. All institutions are run by sensible people, who work within their defined ambits.”
He also lauded Pakistan Army for eliminating the menace of terrorism from the country.
Gas shortage in country
The foreign minister said the Sindh government is doing politics over gas shortage as the whole country is facing the issue.
He asked the Sindh government to sit with the federal government and find a solution to the issue.
“Karachi is the main industrial hub of the country and the federal government does not wish to create any gas shortage there,” said Qureshi. “The industry's role is vital for enhancing exports and the incumbent government is striving hard for the purpose.”
The government, he said, was trying to import liquefied natural gas and installing more terminals to bridge the gap between demand and supply of gas.
Qureshi lamented that the “disease” of spreading fake news was harmful. “Everyone seems to be propagating their own viewpoints or ideologies through fake news not only in the country but also at the international level.”
South Punjab sub civil secretariat
The minister said he had met Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and discussed the issue of setting up the South Punjab sub civil secretariat. The role of the secretariat is to resolve civil administration issues in South Punjab instead of Lahore.
“Things in that regard would move forward soon,” he added.
The minister thanked the Sri Lankan cricket team for touring Pakistan and wished that the Bangladeshi team would visit the country, “which seemed to have been influenced by India”. “Politics should be kept away from sport,” he added.
Qureshi appreciated the Multan District Administration for finalising arrangements for the Urs of great saint of the sub-continent Hazrat Shah Ruknuddin Alam, commencing from the first of January. He urged the residents of Multan to welcome the devotees of the saint, coming from other cities and provinces as it would help promote inter-provincial harmony. (With additional input from app)
(With additional input from APP)