Sunday, February 3, 2019

Music Video - Ariana Grande - no tears left to cry

Video - Guillermo at Super Bowl Opening Night 2019

Video Report - #NFL #Football #AmericanFootball The 100-Year Game | SBLIII

Video Report - Bible literacy classes in schools: 'Great' idea or blurring of secular lines? (DEBATE)

Video - #CNN - Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday February 3, 2019

Pashto Music Video - Dira Khayber - Nan Pah De Hujra Ke Khushali

Pashto Music Video - speeni spoogmai wa ya Ashna ba charta we na

Video Report - #Russia #Taliban #Afghanistan Russia invites Taliban for Afghan peace talks

Senate advances bill warning against 'precipitous withdrawal' from Syria and #Afghanistan

The Senate delivered a rare rebuke to President Donald Trump's foreign policy Thursday, opposing his plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and shrink American forces in Afghanistan.
In a bipartisan voteof 68-to-23, lawmakers advanced a measure sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warning against a "precipitous withdrawal" of American forces from Syria and Afghanistan. It was a particularly notable move coming from McConnell, who has been reluctant to criticize or cross Trump.Forty-three Republicans and 25 Democrats voted in favor of the resolution.
"The United States is engaged in Syria and Afghanistan for one simple reason: because our enemies are engaged there," McConnell said from the Senate on Wednesday. "Dangers to us and to our allies still remain in both these nations, so we must continue to confront them there."
McConnell's resolution is nonbinding, but it showcased a public rift between hawkish congressional Republicans and Trump, who campaigned on a promise to bring American troops home from far-flung conflicts. Trump announced his decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria in December, declaring on Twitter that the Islamic State had been defeated.
GOP critics say Trump has minimized the ongoing threat from the Islamic State in Syria and is plotting a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan that could allow extremist elements to re-emerge in a country that once served as a base for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
"This policy directly undermines one of the two pillars of our strategy in this region, and that is counter-terrorism." Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said during the Senate debate Thursday. Rubio said it would also represent a "win" for Iran's efforts to spread its influence across the Middle East, the second pillar and a top Trump administration priority.
In his speech Wednesday, McConnell invoked the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and suggested a premature withdrawal from Afghanistan could lead to more attacks on U.S. soil.
"It's understandable that as we get farther from Sept. 11, many would grow tired of our military efforts a long way from home," he said, but leaving "too abruptly carries its own grave risk."
Several senators who opposed the measure, including a bevy of liberal Democrats, echoed Trump's argument that the U.S. has been involved in these two conflicts for far too long.
"American troops have been in Afghanistan for nearly 18 years, the longest war in American history. Our troops have been in Syria since 2015 under what I believe are very questionable legal authorities," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent socialist from Vermont. "The American people do not want endless war." McConnell may have gotten fresh fuel for his proposal from a watchdog report on Afghanistan released Thursday. The U.S. inspector general overseeing Afghanistan reconstruction found insurgent forces increased their control over swaths of Afghanistan and the ranks of U.S.-backed government security forces have thinned to a new low.McConnell's provision is an amendment to a broader Middle East foreign policy bill. The legislation would authorize new sanctions against the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and extend a security cooperation agreement between the United States and Jordan, among other things.
The Senate vote on Thursday comes amid increasing tensions among Republicans over the president's foreign policy decisions.
In testimony before Congress earlier this week, Trump's top intelligence officials contradicted the president on a broad range of issues. CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told lawmakers that the Islamic State remains a threat, that North Korea is unlikely to ever give up its nuclear weapons, and that the Iran nuclear deal is working. Republicans in Congress have also sharply split with Trump over his handling of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabian operatives.
The Senate is expected to pass the underlying Middle East policy bill next week, although its fate in the House remains uncertain. The bill also includes a controversial provision, sponsored by Rubio, that would shield Israel from state and local boycotts that have pressured businesses to divest from Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.
Rubio's bill would allow cities and states to penalize businesses or individuals who participate in such boycotts. The Florida lawmaker has said the boycotts amount to "economic warfare" against America's closest ally.
But some Democrats strongly oppose the measure, saying it would infringe on free speech.
"The First Amendment protects the right of the people to participate in boycotts," said Brian Hauss, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s speech, privacy, and technology project. "The government does not have a First Amendment right to boycott the boycotters," he said.

#Afghanistan - Is This the Right Way to End a War?

Afghanistan long ago took from Vietnam the title of America’s longest war, when it passed the 13-year mark in 2014.
Five years later, with the recent possibility of a peace deal that would bring another American withdrawal from an unpopular war, comparisons of the two conflicts are once again rife — even among many of the leaders America has sent to Afghanistan in recent years.
Ryan Crocker, who was twice America’s top diplomat in Kabul, led the chorus of people sensing déjà vu. “It just reminds me of the Paris peace talks on Vietnam,” Mr. Crocker, now diplomat-in-residence at Princeton, said. “By going to the table, we basically were telling the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, ‘We surrender, we’re here just to work out the terms.’”
He was comparing the Paris negotiations that led to America’s withdrawal from Vietnam with six days of talks between the American envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. The talks ended Jan. 26 in a preliminary agreement that American troops would be withdrawn in exchange for Taliban guarantees not to allow terrorists to attack America again. “I just cannot see this getting to any better place,” Mr. Crocker said. “We don’t have a whole lot of leverage here. I can’t see this as anything more than putting lipstick on what will be a U.S. withdrawal.”
A comparison of the two wars has not been fashionable for many years now, with scholars pointing out that superficial similarities were greatly outweighed by the differences. Vietnam took place at the height of the Cold War, with the superpowers on opposite sides. Vietnam and Afghanistan are dramatically different in culture, geography and history. Even the scale of the two wars was vastly different: Half a million American troops went to Vietnam at its height, compared with a maximum of 100,000 to Afghanistan, now whittled down to 14,000; more than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam, fewer than 3,000 in Afghanistan.
Yet a significant number of the American ambassadors and military leaders who served in Afghanistan are worried about the similarities. Karl Eikenberry, the American military commander in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007, and then the American ambassador from 2009 to 2011, said that in both countries it was a challenge to develop a national force committed to protecting the weak and corrupt central government. And in both places, the host country’s forces, many of them trained by the United States, “were further undermined because they constantly doubted the long-term support of the U.S.,” said Mr. Eikenberry, who is now a professor at Stanford.
Mr. Crocker is among those who worry that the Trump administration just wants out of Afghanistan and is willing to sacrifice gains that have been made, particularly on behalf of women. A rushed deal could put the Taliban in a position to eventually take over, as happened in Vietnam when the United States withdrew its troops even though the North Vietnamese did not keep their promise to do the same.
“I imagine we and the Afghans have killed most of the slow and stupid” Taliban fighters, Mr. Crocker said. “The ones who are still in the Taliban after 18 years are now tough, committed, and I can’t imagine them signing on to any meaningful compromise. They’ll just talk compromise.”
Not all recent ambassadors are prone to drawing parallels to Vietnam. James Cunningham, who was ambassador from 2012 through 2014 and is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said fear that the United States will cut and run is “definitely a concern for a lot of people back here, and for the Afghans I know. And there may be some people who want that to happen.” But he said the analogy wasn’t accurate. In America, he said, “there’s a lot of sympathy for the Afghans and what they’re trying to do. This doesn’t have to be a recipe for rushing to the exits and I hope it won’t be.” Mr. Cunningham is not convinced that the Trump administration will pull out, even though many of the president’s supporters in Washington want it to. “It’s no secret the president would like to leave, as did his predecessor and presumably his predecessor, but reality and conditions have a way of intruding,” he said.
Many experts also see lessons from Vietnam for the American experience in Afghanistan, often in terms of “you’ve learned so well from your mistakes that you can repeat them exactly,” as a diplomat in Afghanistan put it.
Anthony Cordesman, an official in the Defense Department during the final years of the Vietnam War, recently wrote a paper detailing the parallels between the two wars. In an interview, Mr. Cordesman, now a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, recalled how late in the Vietnam War “we concealed the casualty rates, the absentee rates, the ghost soldier rates,” just as the American military and the government of President Ashraf Ghani are doing now.
“Just as in Vietnam, under the shell of top leadership there were many deep divisions,” Mr. Cordesman said. In Afghanistan, “you have a country of power brokers. A lot of the underlying economy is extremely weak, buoyed up by war and aid. And as that’s reduced, you find less and less reason for the economy and political structure to hold together.”
In some ways, Afghanistan is actually in worse shape than South Vietnam was when the American military left in 1973; the country fell to the Communists in 1975. In Afghanistan, “the only major hard currency earner is the narcotics sector, other than war and aid,” Mr. Cordesman said. Vietnam, in contrast, had a more diverse economy. Even the Afghan military units are weaker. “There were some very good units in Vietnam,” he said.
The British historian Max Hastings, author of the recent book “Vietnam, an Epic Tragedy 1945-1975,” said he sees many similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan. “Western governments and commanders still don’t seem to have got the message that winning firefights is meaningless unless we can also achieve a real cultural, social and political engagement with local societies,” he said.“For most people in Afghanistan, as in Vietnam, daily life represents an endless series of accommodations, compromises and judgments about who is likely to win,” Mr. Hastings said. “Most of them today put their money on the Taliban not necessarily because they like them, but because they seem likely to be around longer than us.”Mr. Eikenberry said that an even better comparison than Vietnam might be to the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989. Like the United States, the Soviets no longer wanted to shoulder the responsibility and expense of Afghanistan at a time of declining power and prestige. “Both Vietnam and Afghanistan were, ultimately, wars of choice,” Mr. Eikenberry said. “And because of the incredible wealth and power of the U.S., we were able to make the choices — which both proved bad ones.”

#Pakistan - Supreme Court decision on Aasia Bibi - Politics and persecution


While the Supreme Court decision on Aasia Bibi was a courageous step on the part of the judiciary which had hitherto delayed making any decision, its jurisprudential value is sadly weak.
On January 29, 2019 the Supreme Court affirmed the acquittal of Aasia Bibi. She had been sentenced to death on a false charge of blasphemy following a row over a cup of water. The Supreme Court acquitted her in early November 2018 but following mass protests by right wing groups the government ceded to demands that she would not be let free until a review petition was filed by the complainant. And thus an innocent woman continued her ninth year in prison because certain pressure groups felt it was more important that she should be punished on a false charge of blasphemy than acquitted through a free and fair trial.
Globally the decision was viewed as a progressive step in a country otherwise awash with mullahs baying for the blood of religious minorities. The blasphemy laws were introduced by General Zia in 1986 when he ushered in rapid Islamisation to appease the mullahs while quashing existing political parties. He promulgated five provisions relating to blasphemy and other offences against religion, and made various changes to the Pakistan Penal Code and the Law of Evidence to the detriment of non-Muslims and women.
Over sixty years of state appeasement and the patronage of the military and the judiciary have emboldened Pakistan’s religious groups. While their electoral support has not increased the religious right wing have a clear strategy to infiltrate every sphere of civil life and spread fear through the threat of religious sanctions.
For example in a large proportion of blasphemy cases, the complainants are religious scholars, leaders of mosques or members of religious parties. One man, an executive member of Anjuman-e-Khatam-e-Nabuwat, has been the complainant in six cases. In the Aasia Bibi case, again, the complaint is filed by an Imam from the local mosque. As is noted in the judgment, since 1990, 62 people have been murdered, Christian communities have been set afire and various riots have taken place as a result of blasphemy allegations. While there is no accurate data on the number of blasphemy-related cases registered in Pakistan since 1986, data provided by human rights organisations show that around 1500 people have been charged under blasphemy laws from which nearly half are non-Muslims, even though they are only 3 percent of the population. Prior to 1986, only 14 cases pertaining to blasphemy were reported.
While the Supreme Court decision was a courageous step on the part of the judiciary which had hitherto delayed making any decision, its jurisprudential value is sadly weak. The judgment does not only deal with whether Aasia Bibi was guilty or not. It went further. The main author, Hon Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, spent a large part of the judgment in pointing out the utility of blasphemy laws in protecting the sentiments of Muslims. When reading the judgment, there is an inescapable feeling that in order to appease the bigots, the judgment justifies the current laws on blasphemy and also couches the law within the wrong historical context.
The Aasia Bibi judgment makes an attempt to provide some historical context to the origin of blasphemy laws. In 1927, a Hindu publisher Raj Pal, published a pamphlet offending the Muslim community. He was initially convicted under section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code for causing “enmity” between “different [religious] groups” but was later acquitted by the High Court. Following this decision, there was an outbreak of violence. In order to pacify the protesters, the British government enacted section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code. The law punished “deliberate and malicious acts” to “insult” religious beliefs. The object declared that the “act is the outcome of the present day Hindu Muslim tension.” The British government enacted legislation as a way to overcome communal tensions but restricted the law to be invoked by the administration alone to prevent its misuse.
These pacifying legislative measures by the British did not put an end to the anger of those who vowed to take revenge from Raj Pal. Two attempts were made on his life. Finally in 1929, a young man, Ilam Din, stabbed Raj Pal to death. Ilam Din was convicted and awarded death penalty. Muslims of the subcontinent are often urged by Muslim clerics to follow Ghazi Ilam Din Shaheed (the martyr) by killing those who say something offensive about the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
At the time of the creation of Pakistan almost 23 percent of Pakistan’s population was non-Muslim. Today, the proportion of non-Muslims has declined to approximately 3 percent.
The Aasia Bibi judgment contains a glorifying reference to Ilam Din as “Ghazi” and “Shaheed” which is worrying in the current climate. What comes to mind is the recent lynching to death of Mashal Khan by college students, the murder of Governor Taseer by his own bodyguard, the murder of pregnant Shama and Shahzad Masih who were burnt alive and the TLP calling upon its followers to claim martyrdom by shooting down the judges who acquitted Aasia Bibi.
The most urgent need at this time is to quell the atmosphere of impunity and cruelty against those who are already marginalised. In describing the origin of section 295C, the main judgment states:
The Muslim communities that exist around the globe have always acted against any such act of contempt and have openly reacted to such, followed by serious repercussions. That is why anything which in any way attacks any aspect of his sacred life, infuriates Muslims to an intolerable limit, resulting in extremely serious law and order situation, with grievous, disastrous consequences. That is why Section 295-C had to be enacted to bring such contemners before the Court of Law.”
The judgment reasons that Section 295-C was promulgated so that contemnors are brought before a court of law and so arguably not lynched to death. Clearly this is not the case. Prior to 1986 there were only a handful of reported cases relating to blasphemy and no such incidents of mass lynching, murder and rioting as we see every few months now. The law has become an instrument of persecution not protection.
While the judgment fairly criticises those who attempt to misuse the law, the fact that the law itself is a precursor to the strategy of fear is ignored. The note by Justice Khosa is hard on those who misuse the law but again is quiet about the law itself — it only describes blasphemy as a “serious offence”.
The idea that Pakistan was created to allow a religious minority of India greater freedoms is ironic given the treatment meted out to religious minorities since its creation. The persecution and migration of religious minorities not only reflects Pakistan as an intolerant society but also diminishes the vibrancy and progression of a society that comes with religious and ethnic diversity. The atmosphere of fear stifles any debate. Eventually, one can hope that the political leadership of Pakistan also musters the courage and honesty to address the atmosphere of cruelty and dread that religious minorities have to live in.

#Pakistan - #ArmanLoni - Silence over rights’ activist death - #StateKilledArmanLoni

Barring the exception of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the country’s political leadership has remained silent over the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Ibrahim Arman Loni, a rights activist.
This is condemnable, particularly on the part of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Loni was a senior leader of civil rights group Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement. He and others had staged a sit-in in Loralai against unabated incidents of violence in the region as well as alleged attempts by the authorities to force locals to vacate their homes and leave the area in the wake of the January 29 attack on the office complex of the Zhob Range DIG that claimed nine lives, including that of three policemen.
The protest had just ended when, according to MNA Mohsin Dawar, a police team raided the site and tried to arrest Loni and others. In the ensuing confrontation, the police party allegedly resorted to violence, leading to Loni’s death.
Early last year, PTM had emerged as a movement of young Pashtun activists, including Loni, after the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud. These youngsters have since organised multiple gatherings, where they have put forth their grievances, some of which concern alleged excesses committed by state personnel. It is unfortunate for this country that even after the passage of a year, the elected leadership has made no serious efforts to engage these youngsters in a dialogue. Two PTM leaders who have made it to the National Assembly are frequently seen as raising their voice on extrajudicial killings and alleged highhandedness of security and law enforcement personnel during raids among other issues. However, neither the ruling party nor the mainstream opposition is ever seen making a concerted effort to engage with them. The policeman accused of extra judicially killing Naqeebullah has yet to be indicted of charges.
In these circumstances, the death of a senior member of the civil rights group was not an occasion that should have been treated lightly by the elected leadership. By Sunday evening, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilalwal Bhutto Zardari was the only mainstream politician to have expressed his condolences to the aggrieved family and to condemn the suspicious circumstances surrounding Loni’s death. No one from the central leadership of the PTI or the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came forward with a similar statement.
This has rightly enraged many on social media platforms, including Pashtun youngsters who have complained that alleged excesses of law enforcement agencies are noticed when they take place in cities of the Punjab or urban Sindh, but not when committed in Baloch or Pashtun populated remote areas of Balochistan and Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa. The elected leadership must understand that the burden to prove this perception as incorrect lies on them. They have expressed extreme insensitivity and lack of empathy by not having noticed the incident. They must not waste any more time, and order an inquiry which must be to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party. The policemen accused of the crime must be suspended until the inquiry has been completed. Notice must also be taken of attempts by state personnel to prevent PTM leaders from attending Loni’s funeral prayer on Sunday. These are the bare minimum efforts the elected leadership needs to undertake to restore its trust in the eyes of all those who are grieving the loss of the activist’s life.
The absolute lack of coverage of events surrounding Loni’s death by the electronic media is also highly condemnable. It has once again raised serious question marks over the integrity of TV journalism as well as the claims of a free press by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. How can a free press ignore the death of an activist allegedly from police assault?

EDITORIAL: #Pakistan - Extremism hasn’t gone away

The authorities in Islamabad must not forget that they have been able to return Asia Bibi her freedom, after an unjust incarceration of nine years, at the cost of her security. She got back her freedom on the condition that she would have to leave her homeland, and live in exile for the rest of her life. That’s a failure of state institutions designated with the task of providing security to the citizens.
Meanwhile, the flawed set of laws under which Bibi was denied her freedom, and that have been responsible for the plight of many other Pakistani citizens remain unreformed. Alongside, the extremist mindset that dehumanizes others who may have different opinions and beliefs, leading to perpetuation of violence against marginalised social groups also continues to flourish. Despite the fact that state institutions have managed to crack down on the top leadership of the Barelvi extremist outfit Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the popularity of the group and the organisational capabilities of its middle-tier leadership remain intact. This was on display last week in protests in Karachi following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the review petition. Several arrests were made after the participants turned to violence, damaging private as well as public property.
The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government has yet to come up with a plan to deal with barelvi strand of extremism, and the worrying aspect of its popularity among a segment of the country’s population. Perhaps, the problem is that the leadership of the ruling party, like other mainstream parties, has yet to fully recognise extremism as a problem. This was evident in PTI leaders posturing during the election campaign. Taking a leaf from other mainstream parties’ books, PTI chairman Imran Khan, who now holds the office of Prime Minister, had attended a gathering organised by barelvi extremists in the hope of wooing votes. In the past few months, even the top leadership of unelected state institutions was seen photographed with extremists in private gatherings.
This raises serious question marks over the presence of political will to tackle the challenge posed by extremism. Ostensibly, it seems that the state has come to terms with the social support of the far-right religious lobby, whose political narrative revolves entirely around the country’s blasphemy laws. Even though it should have no bearing on the state’s duty to prevent the law’s abuse, but it must be reiterated that this law dates back to the days of the colonial administration, and has no grounding in classical Islamic jurisprudence. Thus, the state concerns itself with the barelvi far-right, it seems, only in moments when the group/s pose a threat to its sovereignty. This is a deeply flawed approach because it ignores the fact that those momentarily challenges become possible only because the group/s has free rein to spread its extremist ideology in the society. An effective approach will be to regulate activities of religious groups, including those of the barelvis, and not letting them indulge in hate speech against minority communities, or glorify terrorists like Mumtaz Qadri. Alongside, blasphemy law will have to be reformed to prevent its abuse.
The state also needs to rethink its strategy in dealing with the top TLP leadership. Instead of keeping them on remand, it would be more effective to bring charges against them and to get them punished for incitement to sedition and violence. This will send a clear message to the extremists, and set a precedent to be followed if the need arises in future.

Asia Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook fears for his life and is seeking European passport to escape Islamist protesters

  • Mulook fled to the Netherlands last November after violent protests erupted over the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Bibi’s death sentence from 2010.
The Pakistani lawyer who secured the acquittal of a Christian woman facing the death sentence for blasphemy is himself seeking protection from European governments, his French lawyer said on Friday.
 Saif-ul-Mulook has been targeted by death threats since his the spectacular acquittal of his client Asia Bibi, a labourer from central Punjab province on death row since 2010.
“He is hoping that people will take into account his heroic actions in defending Ms Bibi, given the current circumstances in Pakistan, which led him to exchange his freedom for hers,” Mulook’s lawyer Francois Zimeray said.
“He does not want to seek asylum, but rather to ask for European nationality,” Zimeray said.
Mulook fled to the Netherlands last November after violent protests erupted over the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Bibi’s death sentence from 2010.
He returned to Islamabad on January 26 to defend Bibi as she faced another appeal of the Supreme Court’s decision, which was rejected on Tuesday.
Bibi, who has been detained in protective custody, is expected to leave Pakistan as well to seek asylum in a North American or European country, and unconfirmed reports have said her children are already in Canada.
The country’s foreign ministry confirmed on Thursday that Bibi was free to leave the country after her years-long legal ordeal, which drew worldwide attention to religious extremism in Pakistan.
Even unproven accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan have caused lynchings and murders.
Religious groups have said “they would kill her despite the judgment of the Supreme Court,” Mulook said after the court’s decision Tuesday. “Therefore, I think she should leave the country.”

After reaching out to Mirwaiz, Pakistan foreign minister now calls Hurriyat’s Geelani

Foreign Minister Qureshi and the Hurriyat leader discussed an international conference to be held in London to express solidarity with the people in Kashmir.
In yet another provocative move, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and discussed the Kashmir issue, the Foreign Office said here on Sunday, days after he made a similar phone call to a separatist leader that angered India.
The Foreign Office in a statement said that Qureshi and Geelani discussed about an international conference to be held in London to “express solidarity with the Kashmiri people”.
“Foreign Minister Qureshi spoke to the 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, the statement said.
Qureshi on Tuesday telephoned Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and discussed with him Islamabad’s efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue.
India Wednesday summoned Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood and categorically told him that Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with Mirwaiz was a “brazen attempt” to subvert India’s unity and violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
India said that Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with a separatist leader reflected the duplicity in Pakistani leadership’s approach on ties with India.
The Pakistan Foreign Office on Sunday said Qureshi exchanged views with Geelani about the programmes to be held in London.
The foreign minister will speak at the International Kashmir Conference at the British Parliament on Monday. On Tuesday he will also attend the exhibition at the Park Lane in connection with the Kashmir Day, it said.
Talking to media in Multan on Saturday, Qureshi said Pakistan has no intention to interfere in India’s internal matters and New Delhi should not make an issue out of his telephonic conversation with Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz.
Qureshi said that Pakistan has no intention to interfere in the internal matters of India, but 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,” Qureshi said.
“Issues are emerging in India but Pakistan has no role in that,” he said.
Qureshi said that he would highlight Pakistan’s view point on Kashmir issue at an event in the House of Common in London this week.
The Foreign Office also issued Qureshi’s statement before his departure to London in which he was quoted as saying that Kashmir is an “important pillar” of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
Pakistan will continue its support for the oppressed Kashmiris on political, moral and foreign levels and want resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolution, he said.
India gets annoyed if the Kashmir issue is highlighted despite the fact that it is a resolvable issue. The real face of India would be exposed by presenting Pakistan’s point of view on the issue in the international conference being held on Kashmir in London at the House of Commons, he said.
He said regardless of the political party winning the next election in India, Pakistan would reciprocate to the new government’s good gesture in New Delhi.
India has made it clear to Pakistan that talks and terrorism cannot go together. -PTI