FM Qureshi says India's offensive posture poses threat to regional peace

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan remains steadfast in improving its relations with neighbouring countries to build a prosperous South Asia, media reported.

Addressing a conference on Strategic Stability in South Asia, Qureshi said conflict resolution is the key to strategic stability in the region. “Threat to peace and stability emanates from Kashmir dispute which remains unresolved for about half a century,” the foreign minister said.

He added the Indian denial to the Kashmir right of self-determination and its blatant human rights violations have led to frustration amongst the Kashmiri youth. “The reason that the freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir has gained momentum and caught world attention. We are witnessing backlash of Indian atrocities inflicted on Kashmiris.”

Qureshi further said the resolution of this outstanding dispute lies only in dialogue.

The foreign minister further said Pakistan is a peace loving country. “Our conduct as a nuclear weapon state will continue to be defined by restraint and responsibility,” he asserted. “Pakistan will maintain credible minimum deterrence to ensure its national security.”

“Pakistan is opposed to conventional and unconventional arms race in the region,” Qureshi said, adding India’s massive acquisition of conventional arms coupled with offensive posture poses threat to regional peace and security.

Referring to the recent Indian belligerence, the Qureshi said Pakistan is committed to peaceful and normal relations in its neighbourhood.

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 also needs to understand that the only way forward is dialogue,” Qureshi added.