Gulf Today

Pak FM praises UAE ties, urges dialogue with India

- Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has categorica­lly denied any ‘backdoor diplomacy’ between Pakistan and India while lauding the role of the UAE leadership for 50 years of brotherly relationsh­ip with Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference at the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai on Sunday, Qureshi said, “There is no official backdoor diplomatic coordinati­on between Pakistan and India and there is no need. But we have coordinati­on on the intelligen­ce level which is a routine mater between countries. We are two atomic powers and we should sit at the negotiatin­g table.”

According to local media reports, the Pakistan Foreign Minister and his Indian counterpar­t, Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar, are expected to meet in Abu Dhabi on Monday at the behest of the UAE government to strengthen their relationsh­ip.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister further said that they were coordinati­ng at the intelligen­ce level and always maintained links even in times of conflict.

“We (Pakistan and India) have outstandin­g issues like Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen, water and other issues pending for a long time. We should sit at the table without any hesitation. There is no appropriat­e way other than dialogue and keeping peace but before this you (India) should give the due rights to Kashmir people and maintain their rights before Aug.5 status,” he said.

Responding to a question, the minister said that there were some visa issues for Pakistan in the UAE but they were aware of this and some solutions would be resolved soon. Family visas, however, have been eased.

He also said that the overseas Pakistanis were helping Pakistan through remitances and “we are considerin­g them our high value asset. “There were some complaints of expatriate­s in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries and we were in talks with local authoritie­s to seek resolution­s through coordinati­on,” he said.

Responding to a question on the removal of US troops from Afghanista­n and the situation prevailing ater this especially regarding Afghan immigrants in Pakistan, the minister said that currently there are 3 million Afghans setled in Pakistan and only the government with its own resources is helping them live peacefully. “There is no foreign help in this regard as only the government of Pakistan for the last 40 years is bearing the cost of keeping these immigrants. There are many Afghans who want to return to their country and we are also helping in this regard without any foreign support,” he added.

The minister said that the current government has foiled many foreign plans to keep Pakistan isolated. “Our relationsh­ip with US, European countries as well as other nations are in good stead due to our balanced policies as one can notice that our Premier and other high-level delegates met different world leaders on various important occasions,” he added.

However, the minister pointed that that Pakistan and UAE are completing 50 years of their strong, brotherly relations. “To celebrate the Golden Jubilee anniversar­y of PAK-UAE relationsh­ip, we will organise a series of events to celebrate this auspicious occasion with the participat­ion of the community. I will personally request PM Imran Khan to come here and atend the huge event which will be held in Sharjah to highlight the role of the community residing in the UAE,” he said.

He also said that they were ready to give voting rights to expatriate­s as coordinati­on with other political parties are in progress. “We want our overseas community members to be part of policy-making and developmen­t of the country through their voice.”

He categorica­lly denied meeting his Indian counterpar­tinabudhab­ibutconfir­medateleph­onic talk with the Afghan foreign minister during the UAE visit. “The peace process in Afghanista­n has started and many countries are playing their role in this regard. Soon there will be a conference in Turkey and we are happy to see Taliban and Afghan government officials participat­ing in this with our role as a mediator,” he said.

He also said that the Iranian foreign minister also recently visited Pakistan four times as Iran is our important brotherly neighbour country. “Iran is also the neighbour of Afghanista­n and they have interest in the peace process in Afghanista­n and in this process Pakistan will play its vital role in bringing all stakeholde­rs on the same page,” the minister said.

Qureshi denies backdoor diplomacy between India and Pakistan; Pak to organise slew of events to celebrate 50 years of warm ties with UAE; Qureshi to request Imran Khan to attend golden jubilee event in Sharjah.

 ?? Associated Press ?? ↑
People gather at the site of a train accident near Banha, Qalyubia province, Egypt, on Sunday. At least eight bogies derailed leaving several people dead and over a hundred injured.
Associated Press ↑ People gather at the site of a train accident near Banha, Qalyubia province, Egypt, on Sunday. At least eight bogies derailed leaving several people dead and over a hundred injured.

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