MULTAN    -   Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that India wants to create an issue in Pakistan to divert world’s attention from Kashmir.

Talking to media here on Saturday, he added that there was a wave of happiness in India due to deteriorating political situation in Pakistan. “Delhi thinks that if Pakistan gets entangled into its internal affairs, it will lose focus on Kashmir,” he claimed. He said it was his request that the marchers should not take any steps that would strengthen enemies of Pakistan. He declared that participants of the Azadi March would be dealt with in a democratic way. Qureshi said he hoped that participants of the march should express themselves peacefully as there was no provision in the constitution for club-wielding force. He said future of democracy was bright in Pakistan and there was no chance of martial law in the country. He added that political parties of Pakistan and the opposition had a strong realization of national and international situation. The foreign minister said that there was always room for dialogue in democracy and the prime minister had formed a committee headed by Parvez Khattak to hold talks.

Answering a question on arrest of Maulana Fazalur, he said Azadi March and protest were internal matters while he possessed expertise in foreign affairs.

He said India could not get Pakistan blacklisted despite hectic efforts. He added that Indians visited entire world and sought help to get Pakistan blacklisted but India failed. He said Pakistan’s efforts were acknowledged at FATF platform.

He disclosed that the prime minister would inaugurate Kartarpur Corridor on November 9 and caravans were ready in East Punjab. “I ask Modi, stop them if you can. Come what may Kartarpur Corridor will open,” he added. He said according to an estimate 5000 Sikh pilgrims would be able to visit Pakistan daily on average. Qureshi said Pakistan had invited former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for inaugural ceremony and he had stated in his letter that he would attend the ceremony as an ordinary delegate rather than special guest. He claimed that India did not want to open Kartarpur Corridor but they had to accept the decision under public pressure.

He said some powers wanted to disrupt peace of the region but prime minister made efforts to prevent any issue taking place in the area. He said the prime minister visited Iran and Saudi Arabia on mission to unite the Ummah. He said the prime minister met with Iranian and Saudi leadership and presented Pakistan’s logic behind efforts. “The confrontation between both the countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran) has gone down due to Pakistan’s efforts and both the countries have agreed that the only solution to all problems is dialogue,” he added. He said it was a good omen that Saudi Arabia had got convinced on diplomatic efforts.

About defeat of PPP candidate from Larkana, he claimed the victory of Moazzam Abbasi from Bilawal’s constituency was a sign of change. Qureshi said Sindh was under PPP rule and Bilawal ran election campaign in PS-11 for five days. He claimed that Bilawal was annoyed on his party’s leadership due to election result and a change would take place in Sindh cabinet very soon. He said the people of Sindh were annoyed over poor governance and corruption by PPP.

Answering a question, he said country’s economy was making progress as exports increased and imports decreased. He added that value of rupee improved and exports increased by 5.9 per cent while imports went down by 12 per cent. He further claimed that foreign investments went up during last one year and people would get employment due to increase in foreign investment. Qureshi said the second biggest challenge for the government after economic stability was to control inflation.

He claimed that the royal couple returned to UK after a pleasant visit and they went back as Pakistan’s ambassadors. He said the bilateral relations between UK and Pakistan would further increase as a result of visit. Referring to Afghanistan, he strongly condemned recent blast and said that such incidents needed to be discouraged for restoration of peace in Afghanistan.