Qureshi asks India to hold referendum in Kashmir

Revocation of IIOJ&K status: Qureshi asks India to hold referendum in Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: In an open challenge, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday asked India to hold a referendum among the Kashmiris the world over and get their opinion on the unilateral revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“If Kashmiris around the world reject these unilateral measures as a result of this referendum, India will have to reconsider its decision,” he said in his comments made at a private television channel. Qureshi said the Kashmiris, in any part of the world, were united against India’s illegal step of August 5, 2019. He said India’s announcement to convene an all-party conference on June 24 indicated that ”everything is not alright”.

On Afghanistan, the foreign minister said Pakistan as a neighbour wanted peace and stability. He said it could be a matter of concern if talks with Taliban remained stalled even after sixty percent of foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is ready for a partnership of peace and will not become party to any conflict,” he said. Qureshi said Pakistan would continue to play every possible role in advancing the Afghan reconciliation process. He said Pakistan was ready to discuss all issues including reconstruction of Afghanistan and dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland.

On economic situation, he said the government had taken several steps including prioritizing economic growth and job creation. The foreign minister said the incapability of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz government landed the country in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list. He said the world was recognizing the steps taken by the PTI government to curb money laundering and terror-financing – the areas totally ignored by the previous governments.

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