–Foreign minister thanks Washington for defusing tensions between Pakistan and India through ‘private diplomacy’
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that tensions between Pakistan and India that escalated in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack “seem to be de-escalating”.
Qureshi said this while addressing a national conference on the start of the next phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies.
Lauding it as a “positive development”, Qureshi pinned it to Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts and said that Pakistan’s decision to send the Pakistani high commissioner back to New Delhi is an extension of those efforts.
Moreover, the foreign minister added, a Pakistani delegation is due to visit New Delhi to hold dialogue over the Kartarpur Corridor. An Indian delegation is also expected to Pakistan later this month to discuss Kartarpur Corridor.
Speaking on Pak-China relations, Qureshi said that this relationship contributes to peace and political stability in the region and counters aggressive forces that threaten to undermine it.
He claimed that China played the part of a mediator between Pakistan and India after the Pulwama tragedy and advised them to resolve their conflict through dialogue.
Moreover, he said that the landmark project, CPEC, forged new relations between the two countries that are now the central pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
He also resolved that Pakistan wants to expand relations with China in the sectors of science, technology and agriculture.
The foreign minister also thanked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his role in diffusing the current situation with India, iterating that “private diplomacy worked”.
He asserted that the US played a significant role in de-escalating regional tensions through private diplomacy. He also thanked foreign ministers of China, Russia, Turkey, UAE and Jordan for contributing to the resolution of tensions between the two countries.
Qureshi’s statement comes as the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres once again reiterated his call for Pakistan and India to seek a resolution of the latest conflict and de-escalate tensions lest they threaten the peace and prosperity of the region.
Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson of the UN chief, asserted that they are fully aware of the severity of the issue at hand.
Dujarric said that the UN chief was in touch with both sides at various levels to “express his concern and the need to do as much as anyone can to de-escalate the tensions.” But, he said, the secretary-general had not yet spoken to the prime ministers of the two countries — Imran Khan and Narendra Modi — “as far as I am aware.”