Sunday, 16 June 2019

Pakistan to boycott OIC meeting if its invitation to India

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will not attend the OIC talks if the invitation to India is not rescinded, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told parliamentarians on Friday morning.

During a joint session of parliament he said that he had, in line with the House’s joint resolution, written to the OIC and said that if the Indian foreign minister remains the guest of honor at the forthcoming OIC inaugural meeting, he would not be in a position to participate in the conference.

He said that while he would not be attending the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, he would send a lower level official to defend Pakistan’s resolutions, many of which are about Indian cruelty and aggression in Kashmir, and ensure that if an attempt is made to give India observer status, it will be blocked.

He said that the Turkish foreign minister had also spoken to him and said that the invitation was unacceptable in this situation and that they will play their role.

Russia has offered to provide a platform for talks between Pakistan and India and we are ready to accept, he also told parliamentarians. He said that Pakistan is ready to sit at the table and deescalate matters. He said he had recorded his concerns to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during an earlier visit to Moscow. Now, the foreign minister offered to provide a platform for talks, he said.

The UN secretary general has also offered to play a mediators’ role if both want it. Pakistan will welcome this, said Qureshi, inviting UN leaders to visit Pakistan and the region to gauge the situation.

He said the captured Indian Air Force pilot would be sent back to India as a gesture of peace today (Friday) in the afternoon via the Wagah Border.

He also briefed the House on some new developments, including that of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being briefed on the situation and giving it “importance”. Qureshi said that during his media briefing in Hanoi yesterday, US President Donald Trump said that it doesn’t want instability in the region.

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