I am ready for talks, are they (India), says Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Qureshi

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that the Pakistani government is ready for talks with India.

However he added, “Are they (India).”

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Qureshi was asked by Dominic Waghorn on World View whether Pakistan had plans to liberate Kashmir.

“The prime minister is saying ‘wake up’. The situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir is deteriorating by the day. And it isn’t just the prime minister ─ the United Nations and the All-Parties Parliamentary Group constituted by the House of Commons are all saying that; voices in India are talking about how they’re losing, how they’re alienating Kashmiris and that it’s a lost cause. So this voice is growing all over,” the foreign minister responded.

Waghorn noted that “there are many in Kashmir who don’t want freedom on Pakistani terms”, to which Qureshi said: “Fine, let’s have a plebiscite. Let the people decide. That’s a commitment, that’s a commitment by India as part of the UN agenda. Give the people the right to self-determination, and whatever they decide, Pakistan will accept.”

The host observed that the back and forth between Pakistan and India had continued “for decades”, and asked why both sides “won’t sit down in the spirit of friendliness”.

“Through your programme, I’m telling the Indians ‘Let’s sit and talk’. I’m ready. Are they?” Qureshi challenged.

Recently, after observing ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’, Qureshi had said that adoption of a joint statement on the Kashmir dispute by members of the British parliament is a ‘big breakthrough for Pakistan’.

Qureshi also said that ‘India tried its best to stop’ the holding of Kashmir solidarity conference in the British parliament, but did not succeed.

He announced that a similar conference would also be held at the European Parliament in Brussels to highlight the plight of Kashmiri people.

Addressing the media after the international conference on Kashmir in London, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi thanked members of the British Parliament for tabling a joint resolution on the Kashmir issue — a development he termed as “massive”.

Meanwhile, India had raised objections with the United Kingdom for allowing Pakistan to use their Parliament as a ‘stage’ for a Kashmir Conference.

Earlier, President of Pakistan Arif Alvi had said that instead of ‘justifying terrorism against innocent citizens by pushing a ‘false narrative of killings militants’, Indian Government should uphold the rights of the Kahsmiri people.

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