–FM says Pakistan will continue to raise Kashmir issue at international forums
MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday reiterated that the United States’ stance on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would have no impact on the project.
Speaking to reporters in Multan, Qureshi said that Pakistan does not agree with the views expressed by United States (US) diplomat Alice Wells.
He was referring to a recent statement by Wells, the US State Department South Asia affairs in-charge, in which she had warned that CPEC would further add to Pakistan’s debt burden.
She had also added that the multi-billion-dollar CPEC would take a toll on Pakistan’s economy at the time of repayments and dividends in the coming years.
“Pakistan does not agree with that view. We have rejected that view,” Qureshi said, adding that “we do not think that the burden of CPEC will increase our debt burden. Pakistan’s total debt burden is $74 billion of which CPEC is $4.9billion”.
“To say that CPEC is increasing our debt servicing is incorrect whereas the second phase of the development project has been launched,” he further added.
Speaking about Kashmir, FM Qureshi said India was violating human rights in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It had imposed curfew and other restrictions for the last 112 days and people had no access to food, medicines, internet and other items of daily use. Pakistan would continue to raise the issue at international forums, he added.
Qureshi said the Jammu and Kashmir’s situation was analysed in a meeting of Kashmir Cell at the Foreign Office and different stakeholders, including Kashmir Committee Chairman Fakhar Imam, participated in the meeting.
FM Qureshi said another meeting would be held soon in which some recommendations would be presented. Prime Minister Imran Khan would chair the meeting.
The foreign minister maintained that they would invite opposition parties in the meeting as all political parties had a unanimous stance on Kashmir. There would be engagements on diplomatic, legal and political fronts in the future, Qureshi added.
The incumbent government would come up with a new strategy to highlight human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir before the international community.
Qureshi said the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was raised at House of Representatives and the US Congress by Rashida Talib.
In a resolution, presented in the US Congress, it was demanded that curfew in occupied Jammu and Kashmir should be lifted immediately, violation of human rights should be stopped, and detained political leaders and workers should be released immediately.