Islamabad, Apr 24 (MNN) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan and India were not engaged in any “peace talks” and that the UAE was not facilitating anything, a media report said.
“We are not having any peace talks at the moment and the UAE is not facilitating anything,” the Minister said while claiming that Pakistan had never shied away from dialogue.
“India had shied away; India took certain steps that vitiated the climate,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn to TRT World on Friday.
He had arrived in Istanbul on Friday for a two-day official visit to participate in a trilateral meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan, as per the statement from the Foreign Office.
He told TRT World on Friday that he wanted to “correct” host Andrea Sanke on her question whether the “secret” round of peace talks between Pakistan and India being facilitated by the United Arab Emirates were “showing more promise” than the peace talks in Afghanistan, the Dawn reported on Saturday.
Qureshi said that he had seen stories about the role of mediation, but there was no such thing.
“[The] UAE is a friend and it has good relations with Pakistan and India,” he said, adding that all friends had been consistently saying that the two were nuclear countries with outstanding issues who could not go to war. Therefore, “the best way forward is dialogue.”
He maintained that if India wanted to convince Pakistan that it was willing to talk then it would have to create a “conducive environment” — which it had “originally vitiated by the actions taken on August 5, 2019”.
India had revoked Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitutions giving special status to then state of Jammu and Kashmir, bifurcated it and made it a Union Territory along with Ladakh.
“If you are willing to engage, Pakistan will never shy away.”
The newspaper claimed that UAE’s envoy to Washington had previously confirmed that the Gulf state was mediating between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed rivals reach a “healthy and functional” relationship.
Meanwhile, Qureshi tweeted on Saturday: “We express our support to the people of India in the wake of the current wave of the COVID-19 infections that has hit our region hard. On behalf of the people of Pakistan, I extend our heartfelt sympathies to the affected families in India.”