By Amer Ishaq Soharwardi
“India has held hostage the people of occupied Kashmir since the past five months,” That was the crux of the very important meeting held Friday between Freign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and US Secretary Mike Pompeo. Foreign Minister met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington in the backdrop of his recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia, as Islamabad attempts to pacify tensions in the Middle East.
Qureshi briefed Pompeo about his recent visit to Iran and Saudi Arabia, where the Pakistani foreign minister held talks with senior-level government officials to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East.
Washington and Iran were about to confront each other militarily after a US drone strike ordered by President Trump killed Al Quds commander Qassem Soleimani. Iran retaliated by firing ballistic missiles at a US military base in Iraq, wounding eleven American soldiers.
Qureshi told the US Secretary of State that Pakistan was ready to play its part in ensuring peace and stability prevailed in the Middle East.
The two diplomats discussed Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir also.
Qureshi informed Pompeo that India had imposed restrictions in the occupied valley as it wanted to hide the injustices that were being committed against the Kashmiris there.
Qureshi said that only through the resolution of the Kashmir issue could there be durable peace in south Asia.
Matters concerning the Pakistan-US relationship, bilateral cooperation and the regional situation were also discussed in the meeting. Qureshi during the meeting said that Pakistan desires peace and stability and is determined to play its role to defuse prevailing tensions in the region. He informed Pompeo about India’s continuing human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, saying eight million people in the occupied region have been “kept confined” through a curfew imposed by New Delhi for the past five months.