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Pakistan wants UN commission formation on Kashmir: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the United Nations (UN) should constitute a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ to probe atrocities being committed in held Kashmir on the basis of report recently presented by the UN Human Rights Commission.

While addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he said that the Kashmir issue got limelight following presentation of the UNHR report. He said Pakistan had always exposed brutalities of Indian army in the held Kashmir and raised voice for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. Now, the UN report had validated Pakistan stance on Indian aggression and cruelties in Kashmir, he added. The minister said that the UN was the best forum to resolve all international issues. Pakistan wished that the UN should become more effective for resolution of the world issues.

He said that he met the UN Secretary General and urged him to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to probe Indian atrocities in held Kashmir. Responding to a question about Pakistan’s relations with neighbours, the FM stated that it was wish of every country that it should have good relations with the neighbouring countries. He said that Pakistan wanted good relations with India. He said that restoration of talks was the best option to resolve all regional issues including poverty, education and construction of dams. He asked whether there was any other way out other than talks to resolve issues between Pakistan and India. He said Pakistan extended offer of negotiations to India as a goodwill gesture. India agreed for talks but soon after it back-tracked on his pledge. Responding to another query that the PTI used to criticise the previous government whenever it tried to hold talks with India, he said the PTI never criticised talks for peace. He said that holding talks for peace process was different from the relations for personal businesses. Pakistan also expressed its proposal to open border for Sikh pilgrims, he stated. There are many Sikh holy sites in the country. Similarly, Pakistanis also wish to visit shrines in India. There are some Bhuddist sites in Pakistan. The proposal could help promote tourism. About his recent tour of the UN General Assembly session, he said that he presented Pakistan’s viewpoint in an effective manner. To a question about any output of the recent visit of America, the foreign minister said that he observed a change in the attitude of America. Earlier, the US was criticising Pakistan and issuing warnings on public forums. He said that he presented Pakistan’s viewpoint to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He added that the relations between Pakistan and the US were improving gradually. Qureshi remarked that he tried his level best that Pakistan services for promotion of peace be acknowledged at international level. The foreign minister hailed people for appreciating him over presentation of Pakistan’s viewpoint in a better way at the UN General Assembly session. Responding to another question about Shehbaz Sharif arrest, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and courts were independent institutions. The cases were not initiated during the PTI government, but in the tenure of the last government. He, however, maintained that the PML-N and all others should respect the courts. To a question about response of Prime Minister Imran Khan over his visit to the UN General Assembly, the foreign minister said that he appreciated and congratulated him for presenting Pakistan’s viewpoint effectively.