SRINAGAR: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said the abiding threat to peace and stability emanates from the Kashmir dispute which remains unresolved for about half a century, the Express Tribune reported.
“Indian denial to the Kashmir right of self-determination and its blatant human rights violations have led to frustration amongst the Kashmiri youth. This is the reason the freedom struggle in Kashmir has gained momentum and caught world attention,” Qureshi said while addressing a National Conference on Strategic Stability in South Asia in Islamabad.
The foreign minister said, “What we are witnessing in Kashmir is the backlash of Indian atrocities inflicted on Kashmiris.”
He said the resolution of the Kashmir dispute lied only in dialogue.
The only way for Pakistan and India to move forward was through dialogue, he said.
According to Dawn News, Qureshi said Pakistan needs a “willing and constructive partner to tackle the myriad daunting challenges” that the region is facing.
“A peaceful neighbourhood is the sine qua non [an essential condition] to build prosperous societies,” he added.
The foreign minister began his address by noting that recent events were a reminder of the “heavy responsibility” that both Pakistan and India have to bear in working towards addressing the “underlying challenges” to strategic stability in the region.
The two also need to commit to a peaceful environment that is conducive to the socio-economic development and welfare of the people.
“Pakistan is a peace loving country. Our conduct as a nuclear weapon state will continue to be defined by restraint and responsibility. We will maintain credible minimum deterrence to ensure its national security,” said Qureshi.
“Pakistan is opposed to conventional and unconventional arms race in the region.”
However, Qureshi added, “India’s massive acquisition of conventional arms coupled with offensive posture poses threat to regional peace and security.”
The foreign minister made it absolutely clear that Pakistan was capable to frustrate any misadventure.
“Pakistan has shown it is prepared to take concrete steps to ease tension and work for friendly relations with India with Kartarpur corridor like initiatives. Our neighbour (India) also needs to understand that the only way forward is dialogue,” the foreign minister insisted.