FM Qureshi discusses Kashmir issue with United Nations boss


Federal Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has held a comprehensive meeting on Kashmir with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York. He said India wasn’t willing for bilateral negotiations over Kashmir issue.

“Pakistan is sincere for the bilateral talks on Kashmir however India is backtracking,” said the minister, talking to media after meeting with the UN boss.

Qureshi said he brought under discussion different other issues, including Ehsaas Programme, in a meeting with UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.

The minister said he had thanked the security council’s president for highlighting the Kashmir issue in the council’s meeting as lockdown slapped on the Himalayan territory has passed nearly five months since.

“It’s the second time in five months that the security council discussed the Kashmir issue,” he said.

“I apprised the UN secretary-general of the Pakistan efforts in de-escalating the tension simmering in the Middle East. I briefed him about the progress of my recent visits to KSA and Iran,” he said.

After landing in New York, he told the media, “Pakistan is doing what it can to de-escalate the situation between Iran and the US.” said Qureshi, talking to media. He said his visits to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran had gone quite well.

In the backdrop of Middle East tensions following the US killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and subsequent retaliation by Iran, Prime Minister Imran Khan deputed the foreign minister to visit Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States and meet with respective foreign ministers, and the US secretary of state.

Earlier today, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi reached the United States at a time when the United Nations Security Council is seized with a closed-door meeting on Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Earlier, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric had confirmed the UN chief’s meeting with the foreign minister, saying it was taking place at Pakistan’s request.

After meeting with UN officials, the foreign minister will then head to Washington where he will meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor Robert O’ Brian and other senior US administration officials. He will also have meetings in the Capitol Hill, besides engagements with the media, policy think tanks and the Pakistani diaspora.

Qureshi, in his talks with the US leadership, will focus on Pakistan’s diplomatic outreach, which has been undertaken on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, in the wake of the recent tensions in the Middle East.

With an aim to find out peaceful solution of the conflict between US and Iran, Foreign Minister Qureshi has already visited Iran and Saudi Arabia, where he held comprehensive meetings with the two countries’ leaders.