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India is risking regional peace for electoral gains: Qureshi tells Pompeo

Following the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) violation of the Line of Control (LoC) on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a telephonic conversation, told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that India is putting the regional peace and stability at risk in pursuit of its political and electoral targets.

According to the Foreign Office (FO), Qureshi told Pompeo that Indian aggression was worthy of condemnation and hoped that the United States would play its role in the situation.

The foreign minister apprised Pompeo about India’s LoC violations as well as the emotions of Pakistani government, parliament and the people.

Indian military planes had violated the LoC, intruding from the Muzaffarabad sector, Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations Major-General Asif Ghafoor said on his official Twitter account early on Tuesday.

“Pakistan desires regional peace and stability but we cannot compromise on our stability,” Qureshi told his American counterpart.

He said that Islamabad had already informed the international community about New Delhi’s intentions following the Pulwama attack. However, he said that Pakistan had adopted an “extremely responsible attitude” despite threats from India.

Qureshi told Pompeo that the joint peace efforts in Afghanistan could be affected by India’s aggression.

Earlier in the day, while addressing a press conference on the Indian LoC violations, the foreign minister had announced that Pakistan would engage international leadership on the matter.

Qureshi also spoke with the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr Yusuf Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, over the phone.

The foreign minister told the OIC secretary general that India’s LoC violation was “extremely condemnable”. He called on the OIC as well as other member states to condemn the Indian aggression on Pakistan’s behalf.

“India is intruding in Pakistan and also oppressing the helpless Kashmiris,” Qureshi told Al-Othaimeen, adding that inviting India to the OIC meeting would not be acceptable to Pakistan under such circumstances.

OIC condemns Indian incursion
Meanwhile, the OIC, in a series of tweets condemned India’s violation of the line of control.
“[…]the General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned this action against an OIC founding member state,” the Organisation stated at the outset.

The Twitter statement went on to say that the OIC “condemned the Indian incursion and aerial violation and dropping of four bombs today, 26 February, 2019.”

It urged both sides to “exercise restraint and avoid any steps that could endanger peace and security in the region”.

OIC also called upon India and Pakistan “to act responsibly and encouraged them to seek [a] peaceful solution to the current crisis without resort[ing] to use of force”.

It further called on them to “embrace dialogue and work towards a de-escalation of [the] current situation as a matter of priority”.



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