Pakistan PM Imran Khan and Finance Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi might be in the same team, but their statements reflected their diplomatic prowess. One one side Khan has said that there will no talks with India until the Modi Government reverses its decision on Kashmir and even threatened nuclear war, Qureshi, on the other hand, said that Pakistan was ready to hold dialogue with India on all outstanding issues.
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Qureshi made the offer while talking to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and emphasised that Pakistan had always welcomed dialogue with India. “Pakistan has never refused to negotiate, but India has never created the right atmosphere needed for dialogue,” said the foreign minister. He also added that Pakistan had no objection to bilateral talks.
“Pakistan has no objection to bilateral talks, and any third-party support or mediation will also be welcomed,” remarked Qureshi. The statement from Qureshi follows a similar comment made by PM Imran Khan in an opinion piece for The New York Times on Friday.
In an opinion piece in The New York Times on Thursday, Imran Khan warned that if the world does nothing to stop India’s decision on Kashmir, the two nuclear-armed countries will get ever closer to a “direct military confrontation.”
“But dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks,” Imran Khan said.
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FM Qureshi appeared to elaborate on the statement made by the premier, outlining that bilateral talks with India hinged on Delhi ending curfew in Jammu and Kashmir, restoring human rights, and releasing detained Kashmiri leaders.
“In an environment where curfew is enforced, people are suffering from life and death, gang rapes are taking place, people are being held in captivity, I don’t see any negotiating environment,” said the minister.
FM Qureshi ruled out war with India in his interview to BBC saying that Pakistan had never adopted an aggressive foreign policy and always called for peaceful resolution of disputes. “The two neighboring countries with nuclear weapons cannot afford the risk of war. People will be destroyed by war and the world will be affected by this as well,” elaborated Qureshi.