India raises objections with UK for allowing Pak to use their Parliament as ‘stage’ to raise Kashmir issue

India has raised objections with the United Kingdom for allowing Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to use their Parliament as a ‘stage’ for a Kashmir Conference, reported the Economic Times. 

The report said that New Delhi has conveyed these objections through diplomatic channels after it emerged that the Pakistan foreign minister has a packed Kashmir agenda during his visit starting February 4.

“The UK, for its part, is believed to have assured India that Qureshi will not be on an official bilateral visit and no formal meetings are scheduled for him with the British government,” the ET report said.

Recently the Express Tribune had reported that Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has invited all parliamentarians of Pakistan and the political leadership of Pakistan Administered Kashmir to attend a seminar on the Kashmir issue at the United Kingdom’s House of Commons early next month.

Qureshi, according to the report, said that national unity was essential to bolster Islamabad’s efforts for an effective resolution to the Kashmir issue.

“We all must work together and raise our voices in unison for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” he said.
The foreign minister urged the Pakistani and Kashmiri political leadership to attend the seminar in the House of Commons on February 4 and a related exhibition in London on February 5.

The ET report while quoting its sources said New Delhi has officially raised the matter with the UK. “We have taken up the matter with the UK authorities and they are aware of our sensitivities on the motivation and timing of the visit,” The report quoted a sources as having said.

On Tuesday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi rang up Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and briefed him about the efforts being made by his country to highlight the ‘human rights violations committed in Kashmir by the Indian forces’.

According to a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Qureshi briefed Mirwaiz on the efforts of the government of Pakistan to highlight the “gross human rights violations being perpetrated by the Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir.”

However, India summoned Pak High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood to raise their objections.

However, Islamabad, in a statement, justified its engagement with Hurriyat Conference leader, with the Pakistan Foreign Ministry saying it “categorically rejects the objections raised by India”.

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