Qureshi suggests UK, Pakistan form ‘joint working groups’ to address rights abuses in India-occupied Kashmir


LONDON: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday suggested the United Kingdom form “joint working groups” with Pakistan to address the human rights violations in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Qureshi’s comments came during a press conference at the Pakistan High Commission in London after he concluded a meeting with the United Kingdom’s Secretary of the State for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women and Equality Elizabeth Truss at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office in London.  The foreign minister is in London on a three-day official visit to the United Kingdom after the conclusion of his trip to New York where he attended the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Qureshi said that he shared a “well-researched dossier” with his UK counterpart on behalf of the Pakistani government in which over 3,000 war crimes and other human rights violations by Indian occupation forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been documented.  The minister lauded the UK for “playing [a] definitive role in addressing poor conditions of people of [the] disputed territory and help in securing Kashmiris’ inalienable right of self-determination”.He also touched upon the issue of Pakistan’s red listing, as well as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour. “I raised the issue with the UK foreign secretary that Pakistan not only bore financial loss but the unilateral decision also affected Pakistan’s image,” he said during the press conference. “Truss said that the decision was taken by the ECB and not the UK government, but she would convey Pakistan’s message to the board.” Answering a question, Qureshi said that the topic of recognising the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan did not come under discussion, however, Pakistan asked the UK and the international community to talk to the Afghan government.  Qureshi, however, said he thinks the United States and the UK are “ready to talk to the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan”.”Like the rest of the world, Pakistan also wants peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s immediate concern is to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the war-torn country. He said that the country is currently undergoing a crisis because $7 billion out of the $9 billion of Afghan money has been frozen due to a US court order.


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