Pak Foreign Minister Qureshi’s London visit may end as ‘private’ engagement

Pak Foreign Minister Qureshi’s London visit may end as ‘private’ engagement

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 1: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s proposed hyped visit to United Kingdom may come a cropper if the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt avoids meeting him and reduces the entire episode as a private visit.

According to sources in the ruling BJP, this is what Indian diplomatic channel has been working on and trying to impressing upon the UK government too.

“The Pakistani intent is not good and they are trying to raise issues on internal matters of India. Hence, Indian government has been using its diplomatic channel to impress upon the UK government to take a stand visit the London event and exhibition being proposed in the first week of February,” a party source said here.

Sources also say that a school of thought believes that a latent competition and internal conflict between Mr Qureshi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan often leads two sides in Pakistan take diametrically opposite stance.

This viewpoint is actually shared by Ministry of External Affairs also as MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters here on Thursday that "One talks about peace and good relations with India and the other face takes actions which are completely anti-India".

To a question during media briefing on Thursday, the MEA spokesman also urged United Kingdom to review or cancel the London event which is likely to be addressed by the Pakistan Foreign Minister in first week of February.

"We have.....we have actually taken it up with United Kingdom side and we do hope that they do understand our objections to this proposed conference and take appropriate action," he said.

Mr Qureshi, during his tele talks with Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Tuesday mentioned about events being organised in London, including at the House of Commons and an exhibition on February 4 - 5, where a section of activists are keen to highlight issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir.

In fact, BJP sources maintain that Mr Qureshi’s stance in talking to Hurriyat leader Umar Farooq was 'baffling' to an extent that it has given Indian government take a “pro-active stand vis-a-vis its relation with Pakistan”.

BJP sources say – in a way it has given an opportunity to the saffron party and also the government as a whole to take a hardliner view.

“Summoning the Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale thus ought to be taken in that perspective,” the source said.

In terms of a long term perspective, it is being suggested at certain quarters that India should take up with western countries - especially the United States and United Kingdom - where often in the name of 'free speech' often groups inimical to India use the public platform to "undermine" sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India.

The argument that needs to be carried forward is the theory of 'free speech' is being misused often by radical forces to attack at the territorial integrity of countries like India.

Besides groups sympathising with Kashmiri militacy often Sikh groups have also used platforms in UK and other countries to promote the ideologies of Khalistani movement. (UNI)