Pak FM speaks to Chinese counterpart, discusses Kashmir and Afghan issues
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday held a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on ways to step up bilateral ties and also exchanged views on the Kashmir issue and the situation in Afghanistan.
Qureshi, during his telephonic conversation with Wang, underscored that the regional security situation was deteriorating and that India’s “belligerent posture” was imperiling peace in the region, the Pakistan Foreign Office said.
“In the face of Indian provocations, Pakistan was exercising restraint,” he said. He also accused India of committing ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).
According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian forces exercise maximum restraint and respond to unprovoked violations and attempts at cross border terrorist infiltration.
India has repeatedly called upon Pakistan to ask its forces to adhere to 2003 ceasefire understanding and maintain peace and tranquillity along the LoC and International Border.
Qureshi also told Wang that India intends to alter the demographic ratio in Kashmir by changing the domicile laws in clear violation of UN and international laws, the state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 last year and bifurcated it into two Union territories — Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
India has defended its move, saying the special status provisions only gave rise to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. It has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 is its “internal matter”.
Underscoring that Pakistan and China are ‘all-weather strategic cooperative partners’, Qureshi said that disputes in the region should be resolved through peaceful means and agreed mechanisms rather than resorting to “unilateral, illegal and coercive measures,” the statement said.
The telephonic talk between Qureshi and Wang took place in the backdrop of the violent border face-off between Indian and Chinese armies in eastern Ladakh last month.
Qureshi said that the recent attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi was supported by “anti-Pakistan elements” seeking to undermine the country’s economic development and stability. Both sides also reaffirmed their resolve to support each other at the multilateral institutions and hoped that those institutions would foster a spirit of objectivity and coherence in advancing their goals.
The two leaders expressed hope that the next meeting of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers Dialogue will take place at the earliest to facilitate peace and reconciliation efforts in war-torn Afghanistan.
Both sides also reaffirmed the resolve to take measures aimed at the earliest possible economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic.
Qureshi underlined that the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would become the hub of trade and economic activity, sustainable development and greater people-to-people exchanges. He also reiterated that Pakistan is committed to the ‘One-China policy’ and firmly supports China on its core interests including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, the Foreign Office said.
Wang thanked Pakistan for supporting Beijing’s idea of ‘Health Silk Road’ which, he believed, would play a major role in addressing the region’s social and economic needs. The Chinese Foreign Minister commended Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region and thanked for extending cooperation to China in every testing time.
Wang said China and Pakistan should work together to jointly tackle challenges and defend common interests and regional peace and stability.
Wang called for the two countries to speed up projects under the CPEC and expand cooperation in health and medical care, training the workforce, poverty alleviation and agriculture to help with the economic recovery in Pakistan, according to reports in the Chinese media.
On the terrorist attack in Karachi, Wang said China firmly supports the Pakistan government’s effort to fight against terrorism and he hopes the Pakistani government will provide more protection for Chinese companies and citizens working in the country, the reports said.