Addressing a seminar titled “Annexation of Occupied Kashmir by Modi’s India: Challenges and Responses” in Islamabad, Qureshi said Delhi’s claim of normalcy on its side of Kashmir is “deceptive”, but seemingly held out an olive branch by saying Islamabad is ready to end the confrontation.
“Indian aggression and hegemonic designs are a threat to regional peace and security and need to be taken seriously”, the Pakistani daily Dawn quoted Qureshi as saying.
The foreign minister also underscored Pakistan’s desire not to escalate the situation with India and its readiness to end the ongoing confrontation.
The Pakistani foreign minister further said that the Indian government is “recycling half-baked truths” to delegitimise what he called the “indigenous Kashmiri struggle for the right to self-determination”.
“Pakistan will go to every forum to ensure that Indian atrocities in IOK (Indian-occupied Kashmir) are halted and the dispute is resolved in line with the aspiration of the Kashmiris and the UNSC resolutions”, he added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of committing a “historic blunder” by revoking the special status granted to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir through constitutional Articles 370 and 35A.
Khan claimed during an address to the nation on Monday, 26 August that his peaceful overtures to Delhi, becoming prime minister in August 2018, had come to nought, and now he was convinced that the time had come for Pakistan's Kashmir policy to take a "decisive" turn.
"When my government came into power, my first priority was to generate peace in the country. India and we share many problems; unemployment, inflation and climate change, etc. So we wanted to be friends with everyone […]”.
“From the start of our term, we made many overtures for dialogue [to India] but there were always some problems. They (India) would look for opportunities to accuse Pakistan of terrorism", Khan said.
He stated that his government's campaign would continue until Kashmir has attained freedom.
"I will tell the world about this, I have shared this with heads of states that I have been in contact with. I will raise this issue in my speech at the UN General Assembly as well”, Khan said.
Meanwhile, the US has also climbed down from its earlier moves to offer to “mediate” between Pakistan and India on their differences on Kashmir.
President Donald Trump met Prime Minister Modi on the side-lines of the 45th G7 Summit in Biarritz, France on Monday and acceded to his stance that Kashmir is a bilateral matter for India and Pakistan to resolve and no other nation needs to intervene.
“We spoke last night about Kashmir, the prime minister really feels he has it under control”, President Trump told media on Monday, 26 August.
Kashmir has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since they gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947. Both govern it in part but claim it in full. They have also fought two wars over Kashmir.