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Setback for Pak;  FM Qureshi left dumbfounded
International

Setback for Pak; FM Qureshi left dumbfounded

Agency News

New York, Sep 26 : Almost two months since Pakistan had chosen to embarrass India on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad was faced with a major embarrassment on Thursday at the United Nations after its vocal foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was left dumbfounded in front of waiting journalists.
"....the spokesman will speak to you...," Mr Qureshi merely remarked after he was confronted by journalists and television crew including from India and Pakistan.
Earlier, Mr Qureshi decided to give a miss to Indian Minister Dr S Jaishankar' s speech at the SAARC Foreign Ministers meet convened every year on the sidelines of UNGA.
It is worth mentioning that it is Islamabad which has been keen to open dialogue with India but New Delhi had made it clear that while it is 'not shying away' from the same, Islamabad will have to take concrete action against terrorists taking shelter in India's western neighbour.

Mr Qureshi, a known hardliner in Indo-Pak relations, arrived late at the SAARC's Council of Ministers meeting and came in after Dr Jaishankar had made his speech and left the venue.

Pakistani authorities led by PM Imran Khan and foreign minister Qureshi had indulged in bravado and big talk on Kashmir since August 5 when the Modi government bifurcated J&K and also abrogated Article 370.

In a rather defensive tune, Imran Khan has lately told Jehadis in his country - ''Anyone who thinks that he will cross the border to join Kashmiris is a big enemy of them and Pakistan''. Pakistan had failed to list a resolution by the deadline September 19 at the UN Human Rights Council against India on ‘Kashmir’ and in Bangkok, it got a setback as it has been judged to be very low in terms of taking actions against terror funding.

Pakistan government's worst fear is about being included in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist. In a rather defensive tune, Imran Khan has lately told Jehadis in his country - ''Anyone who thinks that he will cross the border to join Kashmiris is a big enemy of them and Pakistan''. Pakistan had failed to list a resolution by the deadline September 19 at the UN Human Rights Council against India on ‘Kashmir’ and in Bangkok, it got a setback as it has been judged to be very low in terms of taking actions against terror funding.

Pakistan government's worst fear is about being included in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist. Initial reports said the meeting of the SAARC Foreign Ministers on Thursday was delayed for about 20 minutes at the behest of Pakistani government, and it was only at a later stage that it was made known that Mr Qureshi will be staying away from the meeting.

In a tweet, Pakistan's ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said that Mr Qureshi will not attend Indian Minister Dr Jaishankar's speech. ''FM SM Qureshi refuses to attend Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s statement at the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers,'' the missive on the micro-blogging site said.
Mr Qureshi, a known hardliner in Indo-Pak relations, arrived late at the SAARC's Council of Ministers meeting and came in after Dr Jaishankar had made his speech and left the venue.

As Mr Qureshi arrived at the venue, he was confronted by journalists. One of the scribes was also heard asking Mr Qureshi in loud voice - ''Why Pakistan has supported Hafiz Saeed?''

The meeting between Mr Qureshi and Dr Jaishankar would have been the first face to face contact between the two foreign ministers after the Government of India abrogated Article 370. India has said that Article 370 was a temporary provision and strictly India's own domestic matter.

Last year, the then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had snubbed Pakistan at the same SAARC Ministers meet as she had immediately left the venue after her speech and did not have any exchange of words with the Pakistani minister.
The Late Minister had also told the meeting that the terrorism was the single largest threat to peace and stability in South Asia. On September 17 this year at a press meet in New Delhi, Dr Jaishankar has said it was well known to all other members of the SAARC -- Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Maldives -- who is promoting SAARC and who is against it.

"SAARC is a body for regional cooperation, my message on SAARC will be what you require for regional cooperation. You need trade, you need connectivity...If you are to talk about the future of SAARC, which country is today promoting SAARC and which country is today impeding SAARC?" Dr Jaishankar had said.

Nepal is the convenor of this year's SAARC ministerial meeting here on the sidelines of UNGA. The last SAARC Summit was hosted by Nepal in November 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had attended the same.

Although Nepal was supposed to hand over the chair to Pakistan in the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad, the meet was cancelled after India decided to stay away from it protesting the Uri terror attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers.

In what was a clear snub to Pakistan during the swearing in ceremony of his government this year on May 30, the Prime Minister had invited BIMSTEC - Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) nations, Mauritius and Kyrgyzstan for his swearing-in ceremony to emphasise the importance of neighbourhood in his government's foreign policy framework. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Thailand are BIMSTEC members. (UNI)