FO denies UAE, Saudi ministers’ remarks about Kashmir not being an ‘Ummah issue’ | Pakistan Today

FO denies UAE, Saudi ministers’ remarks about Kashmir not being an ‘Ummah issue’

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Thursday dismissed media reports claiming that the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and UAE had told the government of Pakistan that the Kashmir issue was not in any way related to the “Muslim ummah”.

The FO spokesperson insisted that both officials had expressed solidarity with Pakistan and extended support to the Kashmir cause.

Dr Faisal made the remarks in response to a question during the weekly media briefing at the Foreign Office. He termed media reports about the alleged statements by the ministers of the two gulf states as “speculation”.

The UAE foreign minister and Saudi state minister for foreign affairs had visited Pakistan last week and held meetings with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. The ongoing tensions in occupied Kashmir — following New Delhi’s decision to revoke the occupied region’s special status was one of the major issues discussed in all meetings.

Dr Faisal added that the lockdown imposed by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir had entered its 40th day and reiterated Pakistan’s position that the matter should be resolved according to the resolutions passed by the United Nations.

He said that three Kashmiris embraced martyrdom as Indian troops used pellet guns, teargas and canes to disperse demonstrators in the besieged valley.

The Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson expressed serious concerns over human rights’ violations and urged the Indian government to lift the curfew, respect International Law and permit international human rights organisations to visit the Himalayan region.

When asked about the United States President Donald Trump’s recent reiteration of the offer to mediate between Islamabad and New Delhi, Dr Faisal said that India was “not ready”.

“We have always been ready for bilateral dialogue as well [as mediation] and we made many attempts [to hold talks].

“We have always maintained that every issue can be solved through dialogue. Now let’s see what happens.”

He further said: “Jammu and Kashmir’s struggle is a […] process. It is not an event. This process is ongoing and is moving forward.

“On Friday, the prime minister is going to Azad Kashmir and has a policy statement for the people there. There are many [other] steps under consideration and we will inform you as they unfold. Right now, nothing is final.”

He also clarified that “no background dialogue between India and Pakistan” was underway.

Responding to questions regarding the suspension of Afghanistan peace talks, Dr Faisal said that Pakistan had always supported a process that is “led and owned by the Afghans”.

“Pakistan learned about the cancellation of the meeting between US President Trump and Taliban leaders at Camp David. Pakistan wants all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from violence.”

“Pakistan has always maintained that the only solution to the Afghan conflict lies in a politically negotiated settlement led and owned by Afghans themselves.”

“We are hopeful that the peace talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban will be resumed at the earliest.”

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