Political parties in Pak to be united on Kashmir issue: Qureshi

Vastavam web: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday asked Opposition parties to come together on Kashmir, saying the country should have a united stand on the issue. Addressing the media in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir where he celebrated Eid al-Adha and visited a refugee camp, Qureshi said the entire “Pakistani nation and political leadership is united on the issue of Kashmir and one voice will be sounded on August 14 in support of Kashmiris.”

Pakistan has announced that it will observe August 14 as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ and August 15 as ‘Black Day’ after India scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. Qureshi urged for unity among political parties in Pakistan on Kashmir and warned that doing politics on the issue would harm the cause.

He urged political parties to come together on the Kashmir issue, saying that Pakistan must have a united stance on the matter. Qureshi said India’s “unilateral” abrogation of the special status of Kashmir has left Kashmiris with no option but to stand against it.

India has reiterated that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution removing special status to Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter and advised Pakistan to not create an alarming environment after the move. To a question about giving status of province to Gilgit-Baltistan, Qureshi said that doing so would harm Kashmir cause and Pakistan’s stance.

It was discussed in the cabinet as there is popular demand for it. But we will not do anything which can harm our legal position on Kashmir, he said. Earlier, Qureshi offered Eid prayers in Muzafarabad to express “solidarity” with Kashmiris. Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit PoK on August 14 and also address its legislative assembly.

He said Pakistan has decided to take the issue of Kashmir again to the UN Security Council and China has assured to extend full support for this purpose.