LoC Situation Linked to Afghan Peace Process: Qureshi


Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi – File Pic

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has linked the ongoing Afghan peace process with the situation at the Line of Control (LoC) saying the action taken by the Indian Army is a “distraction”.

Speaking to a Pak media channel, he said, “On one hand the Afghan peace process is going through a critical stage, US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad has reached Doha after a successful visit to Islamabad. He has an important meeting in Doha. The action by the Indian Army is a distraction. These spoilers can impact peace.”

The last time such a statement was made, Kabul summoned Pak envoy to Afghanistan.

In February, in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, Pakistan’s envoy to Kabul Zahid Nasrullah linked any response by the Indian Army to have been impacting the Afghan peace process.

On Trump’s Kashmir comments the Pak FM said, “US President understands the sensitivity of the issue and that how greatly it is associated with peace and stability in South Asia and therefore he offers to mediate”.

Pakistan looks emboldened by Trump’s mediation offer and with Washington eager to leave Afghanistan, Islamabad is sensing an opportunity to create trouble.

Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary told WION, “Imran Khan is playing the old game of linking India’s legitimate actions in Jammu and Kashmir to curb Pak-supported terrorism to its complying with US’s demands to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to promote the so-called peace process in Afghanistan which is a sham.”

“He is trying to capitalise on Trump’s thoughtless comments on mediation on the Kashmir issue. Imran Khan will not succeed in this usual Pakistan duplicity,” he added.

India’s former envoy to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha, told WION, “There is no connection between Pakistan’s cooperation on Taliban and what is happening in India. I guess they are just seeking a way out of their commitments made to President Trump. Tough for Pakistan to cut its umbilical cord with terror groups including the Taliban.”

US President Donald Trump in the last 10 days has raked up the Kashmir issue twice. In both cases, India has reminded him that it can only be discussed with Islamabad, if at all warranted.

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