‘Accidental war with India a possibility’, says Pakistan foreign minister
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir risks sparking an “accidental war” .
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Wednesday, Qureshi said he believed both Pakistan and India “understand the consequences of a conflict”. But he added that “an accidental war” cannot be ruled out. “… If the situation persists … then anything is possible,” he said
He said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet “was keen to visit” the region.
Qureshi, who on Tuesday called for an international investigation into the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, told reporters that he had spoken with Bachelet and invited her to visit both the Indian and Pakistani parts of the region.
“She should visit both places and report as objectively as she can so that the world knows what the true… situation is,” he added.
He ruled out the possibility of bilateral talks to resolve the tensions. “In this environment and with the mindset that we see in New Delhi today, I do not see any room for bilateral engagement,” he said.
He added that a multilateral forum or a third-party mediator would likely be needed. “If the US plays a role that can be important because they have a considerable influence in the region.”
India on Tuesday delivered a stinging rebuttal to Qureshi at the UN human rights body in Geneva, insisting that his statement was a “fabricated narrative from the epicentre of global terrorism”.
In Islamabad, Pakistani foreign office spokesman, Mohammad Faisal, said that the Saudi and UAE foreign ministers had reaffirmed their solidarity with Pakistan and support for the Kashmir cause.
He dismissed reports that claimed that the two foreign ministers, on their recent trip to Pakistan, had told the government that Kashmir was “not a Muslim ummah related issue” and insisted that both officials had “expressed solidarity with Pakistan and support for the Kashmir cause”.
Faisal termed media reports regarding alleged statements by the ministers of UAE and Saudi Arabia as “speculation”.
The UAE and Saudi ministers had visited Pakistan last week and held meetings with Qureshi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, and army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Faisal said the ongoing tensions in Kashmir following New Delhi’s decision to revoke the region’s special status was one of the major issues discussed in all meetings.
The spokesperson welcomed the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement urging New Delhi to ease the current lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said Pakistan also notes with appreciation China’s statement about opposing unilateral action in Jammu and Kashmir, Turkey’s desire to resolve the issue and Malaysia’s concern.