Qureshi criticises India’s Christchurch condolence

Published: March 21, 2019
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Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PHOTO: FILE

Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PHOTO: FILE

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday has strongly criticised India’s condemnation of a terrorist attacks on two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers last week.

The foreign minister, who is in China on a three-day trip, pointed out that India’s condolence of the attack, in which at least 50 people lost their lives, did not include the word ‘Muslims’ or ‘mosques’.

India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi had condemned the “heinous terrorist attack at the places of worship in Christchurch”.

Qureshi told Pakistani journalists that India did not have the courage to use those words in describing the incident that had been condemned unequivocally by countries around the world.

“If, God forbid, there had been an attack on a Hindu temple, Pakistan would have stood with India,” Qureshi is quoted as saying.

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China visit

The foreign minister met Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Wednesday.

Qureshi said China is Pakistan’s most trusted friend, and that the first strategic dialogue between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China has yielded fruitful results.

Pakistan will continue to work with China to actively implement the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and promote the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries, he said.

Yang said that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners, and that cooperation between the two countries not only brings benefits to the two peoples, but also contributes to regional stability and prosperity.

Speaking about his meetings with Chinese dignitaries during the visit, Qureshi said that Pakistan is providing Chinese investors with complete security.

“Chinese investors should come to Pakistan without any fear. We take full responsibility for their security,” Qureshi said, adding that no investor would have any issues procuring no-objection certificates.
Keynote address

FM Qureshi on Wednesday said the ‘Political Parties Forum’ on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would further enhance mutual understanding and reinforce collective commitment to create a favourable environment for the mega project.

He made these remarks in his keynote speech at the first meeting of the Political Parties Forum on CPEC organised by the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Addressing the Forum, Qureshi said that the platform would further strengthen the consensus between the two countries and reinforce the time-tested bilateral relations.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, and Senate CPEC Committee Chairman Senator Sherry Rehman led delegations of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and Pakistan Peoples Party respectively.

Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan led a combined delegation of political parties from Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa including representatives from other political parties.

During the forum, stakeholders from both sides exchanged in-depth views on the development of CPEC and its future trajectory. Participants of the forum expressed fullest support to the upcoming second forum of the Belt and Road Initiative that will be held in Beijing next month. At the end of the forum, all stakeholders unanimously adopted ‘Beijing Declaration’.

The participants reiterated their unwavering commitment to CPEC. They agreed to further enhance intra-party exchanges, discussions and cooperation. They rejected negative propaganda against CPEC, calling it ‘an inclusive project of win-win cooperation, mutual development and prosperity’.
The next meeting of the forum would be held in Pakistan.

With additional input from agencies

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