Qureshi criticises Rajnath Singh’s remarks on PoK talks

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday criticised Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks that talks with Islamabad would be held only on the issue of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Addressing a public rally in Haryana earlier in the day, Singh asserted that there would be no talks with Pakistan unless it acts against terrorists and stops supporting terror activities.

“If talks take place (with Pakistan), it will be on PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and not on any other issue,” he said.

Reiterating that Pakistan’s position on the Kashmir dispute “remains unchanged”, Qureshi said, “We have seen the comments made by the Indian defence minister today. These are reflective of the predicament that India finds itself in, after its illegal and unilateral actions imperiling peace and security in the region and beyond.”

The foreign minister’s remarks came amidst tensions between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The world community, including the United Nations Security Council, have taken cognisance” of the situation in Kashmir, Qureshi said.

The UNSC on Friday took up the issue of Kashmir in informal consultations.

The meeting on Kashmir by the Security Council ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful 15-nation UN organ, dealing a huge snub to Pakistan and its all-weather ally China to internationalise the issue, which an overwhelming majority stressed is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.

India has said that the revoking of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was “entirely an internal matter” with “no external ramifications” and firmly told Pakistan that it has to stop terrorism to start talks.