FM asks India to stop blaming Pakistan on Kashmir; enter into substantive talks

WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (APP): Voicing Islamabad’s concern over the “serious” situation in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday asked India to stop blaming Pakistan for the political movement which is totally indigenous.“The point is the Indian intelligentsia, Indian legislators and think tanks for the first time, have acknowledged publicly that this political movement, this revolt that you see in the Indian occupied Kashmir today, is indingenous,” he remarked.The foreign minister was asked to comment on Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s allegations made in a speech to the UN General Assembly that the troubled Kashmir region was experiencing Pakistani-sponsored unrest.  Continuing, the foreign minister told newsmen at the Capitol Hill after meeting Senator John Kerry that there has been an acknowledgement on part of the Indian intelligentsia that the “policy that they (New Dehli) has been following for so many years, has failed to deliver, it has alienated people further.” Pakistan, he said, wants normalization of relations with India in the interest of peace and security in the region and argued that it could only come about through a substantive dialogue on all lingering disputes.  Qureshi said Indian assessment of the situation in the Occupied Kashmir by judging the turnout of the last election was “completely out of place.” “There is resentment and people are reacting non-violently but very frocefully to the violations of human rights and oppression (in Kashmir)— the protest has moved into the hands of a new generation— the youth and women are protesting and life in the valley and the Indian occupied Kashmir is totally paralysed.”

He also pointed out the reception that the Indian parliamentary got in Srinagar, as many of the ministers were unable to visit even hospitals.  “So to blame Pakistan for that, I would say is being naive. It is not understanding the local dynamics of the situation.” Pakistan, he said, is concerned about the situation, which has deteriorated recently and seen killing of more than 100 protestors by the Indian security forces.

“Pakistan is concerned becasue the way the situation is brewing over there. All Pakistan is saying is please exercise restraint. All Pakistan has said and in my speech at the United Nations I have said that engage with them (Kashmiris), (the Indian) political parties have said that.”

“If Pakistan is to blame then what was the all parties conference about?” he questioned. There is no agreement even within the political leadership in India on how to deal with the situation, he said.

“They are at odds with each other,” he asserted, referring to differences of approach to the longstanding issue between the BJP and Congress parties.  “And the Kashmiri leadership has completely rejected what they had to offer,” he added. “They have a very serious local situation. They should wake up and deal with and stop blaming Pakistan.”

Earlier, Qureshi reiterated Islamabad’s call for India to enter into a meaningful discussion process on resolving all outstanding issues. Pakistan, he said, is ready to talk to India if New Delhi is willing to address all outstanding issues.

“Pakistan is concerned because we have a lot of Kashmiris in our country. Pakistan does not want temperatures to rise. We want India to show restraint (in Kashmir)”, he said in reply to a question at an event organized by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center.
“I’m ready to meet the Indian External Affairs Minister anywhere, anytime.”, the foreign minister said, underscoring that the Indo-Pakistan talks ought to be aimed at resolving all longstanding issues. Pakistan wants resolution of outstanding disputes through peaceful dialogue, he said.

In reference to the suggestions he forwarded to the Indian counterpart on dialogue process. Qureshi said New Delhi was supposed to come back in response – App