FM Qureshi notes positive development in Indian attitude towards Pakistan

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that he has observed a positive development in the Indian attitude towards Pakistan and the two are heading towards a positive trajectory of ties.

The foreign minister made the remark in Dushanbe in an interview after attending the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process.

Qureshi said significant developments in bilateral ties started with the letter from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitating his counterpart on Pakistan Day, which PM Imran Khan responded to.

While responding to a question, FM Qureshi said the revival of Pakistan-India 2013 understanding on the ceasefire at the LoC, Indian PM’s letter of felicitation on Pakistan Day and the fact that Indian Foreign Minister Shiv Shankar Menon did not opt to criticise Pakistan at the Heart of Asia Conference, like on previous occasions, are positive and productive developments.

He said the revival of the ceasefire at the LoC will benefit Kashmiris, who have also praised the development.

Qureshi said PM Khan, while thanking the Indian prime minister, has reiterated Islamabad’s earnest desire to have peaceful ties with all neighbouring countries, including India. However, this requires the resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries, including the most important dispute over the Indian illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said PM Khan, in his letter to his counterpart, said, “If India desires peaceful relations with Pakistan, New Delhi will have to create a conducive and enabling atmosphere.”

Reacting to media reports regarding his meeting with his Indian counterpart, Qureshi said neither was such a meeting scheduled, nor has he received any such request.

“We both were busy in our meetings.”

Referring to the August 5, 2019 changes in the status of IoK, Qureshi said today a large segment in India feels those actions have proved to be counterproductive and have served to further alienate the Kashmiris.

He said if India considers providing an enabling environment, PM Khan had even earlier expressed his readiness to take more steps in that direction.

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