FM trashes US remarks

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  • Says transparent accountability process will prevail   
  • Seeks global attention for Kashmiris    
  • Refuses to repose trust

 Bureau Report
MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday reiterated that the United States’ stance on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would have no impact on the project.
Speaking to reporters in Multan, Qureshi said that Pakistan does not agree with the views expressed by United States (US) diplomat Alice Wells.
He was referring to a recent statement by Wells, the US State Department South Asia affairs in-charge, in which she had warned that CPEC would further add to Pakistan’s debt burden.
She had also added that the multi-billion-dollar CPEC would take a toll on Pakistan’s economy at the time of repayments and dividends in the coming years.
“Pakistan does not agree with that view. We have rejected that view,” Qureshi said, adding that “we do not think that the burden of CPEC will increase our debt burden. Pakistan’s total debt burden is $74 billion of which CPEC is $4.9billion”.
“To say that CPEC is increasing our debt servicing is incorrect whereas the second phase of the development project has been launched,” he further added.
Speaking about Kashmir, FM Qureshi said India was violating human rights in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It had imposed curfew and other restrictions for the last 112 days and people had no access to food, medicines, internet and other items of daily use. Pakistan would continue to raise the issue at international forums, he added.
Qureshi said the Jammu and Kashmir’s situation was analysed in a meeting of Kashmir Cell at the Foreign Office and different stakeholders, including Kashmir Committee Chairman Fakhar Imam, participated in the meeting.
FM Qureshi said another meeting would be held soon in which some recommendations would be presented. Prime Minister Imran Khan would chair the meeting.
The foreign minister maintained that they would invite opposition parties in the meeting as all political parties had a unanimous stance on Kashmir.
There would be engagements on diplomatic, legal and political fronts in the future, Qureshi added.
The incumbent government would come up with a new strategy to highlight human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir before the international community.
Qureshi said the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was raised at House of Representatives and the US Congress by Rashida Talib.
In a resolution, presented in the US Congress, it was demanded that curfew in occupied Jammu and Kashmir should be lifted immediately, violation of human rights should be stopped, and detained political leaders and workers should be released immediately.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday said the process of transparent accountability would continue in the country.
Talking to media here, he said no one wanted to face accountability process, and whenever people were held accountable, they attempt to create hindrances in the way of the accountability process.
Responding to a question about Asif Ali Zardari’s trial in Rawalpindi, Qureshi said the matter was sub judice. He, however, said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was in government in Sindh and it was not cooperating in transparent accountability process.
To another question about ex-premier Nawaz Sharif’s health and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement about that, Qureshi said he could not comment on the issue, adding the health ministry could answer in a better way.
The foreign minister said Islamabad had categorically rejected Washington’s claims about loans and their impact on the Pak economy in the wake of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said Pakistan had expedited the CPEC projects and launched its second phase.
Qureshi said China’s share in Pakistan’s overall debt burden was small. However, the mega projects would have a positive impact on the national economy.
“Pakistan’s total debt burden is $74 billion, of which CPEC is only $4.9bn. CPEC is a game-changer for the entire region and there is no restriction on any country, including the USA, to invest in the special economic zones, being established under CPEC,” added Qureshi.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said India was violating human rights in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It had imposed curfew and other restrictions for the last 112 days and people had no access to food, medicines, internet and other items of daily use.
Pakistan would continue to raise the issue at international forums, he added. Qureshi said the Jammu and Kashmir’s situation was analysed in a meeting of Kashmir Cell at the Foreign Office and different stakeholders including Chairman Kashmir Committee Fakhar Imam participated in the meeting.
Qureshi said another meeting would be held soon in which some recommendations would be presented. Prime Minister Imran Khan would chair the meeting. The foreign minister maintained that they would invite opposition parties in the meeting as all political parties had unanimous stance on Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
There would be engagements on diplomatic, legal and political fronts in future, added Qureshi.
The incumbent government would come up with a new strategy to highlight human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir before the international community.
Qureshi said the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was raised at House of Representatives and the US Congress by Rashida Talib. In a resolution, presented in the US Congress, it was demanded that curfew in occupied Jammu and Kashmir should be lifted immediately, violation of human rights should be stopped, and detained political leaders and workers should be released immediately.
The foreign minister said Pakistan registered its protest with Norway on the issue of Holy Quran desecration.
Pakistan have expressed its concerns and demanded that the culprit involved in desecration of Quran should be punished and the young man who attempted to stop the desecrator should be released immediately.
Agencies add: Speaking to the media in his constituency, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shah Mehmood Qureshi reiterated that the Kashmir issue needed serious attention from the world at large.
FM Qureshi said that a heinous, barbaric curfew has been in place in the illegally occupied region for 112 days now and there is no respite in sight.
He lamented the silence and ignorance of the world on the growing human right issues in the besieged valley.
Qureshi said that the media and the world has been kept in the dark with regards to the havoc being wreaked in the valley by the extremist government of India.
Answering a question regarding the recent remarks made by American ambassador, Alice wells regarding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), FM Qureshi said that he was not in agreement with the views expressed by miss Wells.
FM Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s stance on the project claiming it to be a ‘game changer’ which is to change the fate of this country.
Answering  a question about former president Asif Ali Zardari’s trial being run in Punjab as opposed to Sindh where the alleged crimes took place, FM Qureshi said that the Sindh government was subservient to the former president and was not facilitating court proceedings, the bias was evident.
In conclusion the foreign minister said that it is the prime minister’s wish that the process of accountability is meted out across the board, swiftly.