ISLAMABAD   -  Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday spoke to All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani over the telephone and discussed the Kashmir issue – days after he held a telephonic conversation with APHC leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, sparking a diplomatic spat with India.

Qureshi’s telephone call came ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the occupied Kashmir and the FM’s own flight to London where he will attend the ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ events.

Last week, India had summoned Pakistani high Commissioner to protest against Qureshi’s call to Farooq. Pakistan later summoned Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad.

Foreign office spokesperson Dr Muhammed Faisal said: “Status of Jammu and Kashmir is internationally-accepted as disputed territory and Pakistan will continue to support Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination.”

The spokesperson said that as Indian atrocities continue in Occupied Kashmir, ‘we urge the international community to call upon India to stop bloodshed in Kashmir’.

Faisal said that Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5 was also commemorative of 26th year of detention of Dr Qasim Faktu, husband of Aasia Indrabi. He said that detention of both the husband and wife in Indian jails on trumped up charges was gross violation of human rights by India.

The Foreign Office said that Qureshi and Geelani discussed an international conference to be held in London to ‘express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.’

“Foreign Minister Qureshi spoke to senior leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference on telephone before his departure for London to attend international activities to be held there in connection with the Kashmir Day,” an official statement said.

Geelani appreciated Pakistan’s role in protecting people of Kashmir’s viewpoint at the global level and its stance on the dispute and human rights’ violations. Farooq took to Twitter and stated that the Indian government had been in a panic mode ahead of Indian PM’s visit to the city.

India alleged that Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with the Kashmiri leaders reflected the ‘duplicity’ in Pakistani leadership’s approach on ties with India.

Later, FM Qureshi left for London where he will speak at the International Kashmir Conference in the British Parliament on February 4. On February 5, he will also attend an exhibition at Park Lane in connection with the Kashmir Day.

Before leaving for London, Qureshi said that Pakistan had no intention to interfere in India’s internal matters and New Delhi should not make an issue out of his telephonic conversation with the Kashmiri leaders.

He said that New Delhi should also stop blaming Islamabad for its problems. “We want to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue but India is making undue hue and cry,” he said, adding: “Issues are emerging in India but Pakistan has no role in that.”

Qureshi said that he would highlight Pakistan’s viewpoint on Kashmir issue at the House of Common in London.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Kashmir was the key pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy and country’s stance on the issue is very clear. He said that Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue was well-explained and clear. “We will continue raising our voice against Indian oppression against innocent and unarmed Kashmiris in the Indian-occupied valley.”

Qureshi said that Pakistan would continue extending its political, moral and diplomatic support for the struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

 World must respond to Kashmiris’ wake-up call

 APP adds: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) was grave which warranted the world to take notice of the worst kind of human rights violations by the occupation forces.

Talking to media persons after his arrival in London, the foreign minister regretted the silence of the world over unabated incidents of torture and aggression, indiscriminate use of pellet guns by the Indian forces and rape and killing spree of the innocent Kashmiris in the IoK.

He said during the visit of Indian Premier Modi to IoK, there was complete shutter down strike in Srinagar.

The Kashmiris were expressing their resentment and had taken practical steps, he said, expressing his wonder over the oppressive measures taken in the world’s highly militarised area in the wake of Modi’s visit.

Whether such grave human rights violations were allowed in any civilized society of the world, the minister posed a question and urged India to realise the seriousness of the situation in IoK.

The foreign minister has arrived London to attend events in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day.

The minister questioned why India clamped down upon social and print media and disrupted the internet! It was a kind of media gag in IoK, he said and invited world media to highlight the situation.

He said certain incidents often made headlines in the international media, but in the IoK, on daily basis, grave human rights violations were being committed by the Indian occupation forces.

On the other hand, he urged the global media to also visit Azad Kashmir.

To a query, he replied that there was complete national consensus on the Kashmir issue.

He said the conference in the United Kingdom (UK) would deliberate upon the Kashmir situation where he would reiterate Pakistan’s stance.

Qureshi said the UK Parliament and the UN rights body had also launched their reports over the gross human rights violations in the IoK.