Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi telephones Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz; discusses Kashmir issue

New Delhi: In a step that can prove further detrimental for India-Pakistan strained ties, foreign minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday.

Qureshi discussed the efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue, with the Hurriyat leader. The Foreign Office of Pakistan said in a statement that Qureshi spoke with Mirwaiz and discussed with him the “efforts of Pakistan’s government to highlight the Kashmir issue”.

Accusing India of perpetrating human right violations in parts of Kashmir, Qureshi briefed Mirwaiz on the “efforts of Pakistani government” to highlight the “human rights violations by India” in Jammu and Kashmir, the country’s Foreign Office (FO said in the statement.

Qureshi mentioned the June 2018 Report issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the APPKG report of the UK Parliament and emphasized that India should permit the visit of the Commission of Inquiry, as envisaged in both reports, said the country’s Foreign Office.

He also informed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the upcoming events, being organised in London at the House of Commons and the exhibition being held in London on 4-5 February 2019 respectively, it said.

These, again, are efforts to highlight the centrality of Jammu and Kashmir dispute , it said.

The statement also claimed that the Hurriyat leader greatly appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani government and vented out his anger against India. He said that he would have wanted to be present for the London events, but his passport and those of his contemporaries, had been confiscated by the government of India, to prevent them from travelling abroad.

This is the first time that the new government in Pakistan, under Prime Minister Imran Khan, has reached out to the Hurriyat.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has not given an official response yet, but the move may not go down well with India which has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and there is no space for third party.

Many media reports, citing official sources said that the move has been dubbed as a regressive step and said it is contrary to overall perceon that the new government in Pakistan is trying to create.