Pakistan External Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that war with India is not an option. Speaking to Al Jazeera, the Pakistani foreign minister said that there was no possible military solution to the conflict between India and Pakistan.
A report in Al Jazeera quoted Qureshi as saying, “What we did, we thought made sense. Two neighbours with outstanding issues, atomic powers. How do you fix things? War is no option. There is no military solution. The only solution is a dialogue.”
Qureshi further reiterated the stand of Pakistan’s Imran Khan-led government on ties with India, pointing that the country’s new Prime Minister had said that Pakistan was willing to take two steps for peace if New Delhi took one. He said that since taking oath of office, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had made subsequent requests for “constructive, peaceful dialogue” with India.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan foreign minister sought the intervention of the United Nations to resolve the Kashmir conflict with India. In a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Qureshi said that the Kashmir issue must be resolved as per the wishes of the local people.
The developments come just days after India called off talks between Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, reportedly over recent killings of SPOs in Jammu and Kashmir and release of stamps honouring slain terrorist Burhan Wani.
Some reports had also suggested that one of the reasons for cancellation of talks by New Delhi was message from Pakistan’s ISI to terrorists, which were intercepted by the Indian intelligence agencies. The talks between the two foreign ministers was slated to happen on the sidelines of United National General Assembly session in New York.
Since coming to power in Pakistan, Imran Khan and government has repeatedly been reaching out to India with offers of talks. Qureshi had recently said that not talking about issues would not make the problems disappear.