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Pakistan not in favour of using military front, self-defence a right: FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday the armed forces had conveyed a clear message to India of being fully capable of responding any threat, however, Pakistan was not in favour to use military front anymore, ARY News reported.

The foreign minister, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, clarified that the military front was always the last option if the diplomatic efforts failed.

FM Qureshi said that Pakistani armed forces gave an unambiguous message to India regarding its capability to defend soil from any genre of aggression.

“Islamabad possesses the right to defend itself under international regulations in case of aggression.”

“Islamabad is actively playing its role to maintain peace and stability in the region, and New Delhi should play its part too as a much bigger segment in India is not in favour of war”, he said.

Read More: Abhinandan not released under pressure, FM Qureshi asserts

Qureshi said that the world acknowledged Pakistani armed forces’ exemplary role in the war against terrorism, adding that “Pakistan did not want to create a warring situation on its eastern border.”

“[Indian prime minister] Narendra Modi is playing with fire by pushing the region into war. The world knew well about [Modi’s] political motives and the mileage his party gained from Pulwama incident.”

“Even voices within India are terming Pulwama incident as a drama staged to win elections as Modi has already lost elections in five states,” added Qureshi.

The foreign minister said [that the entire episode] was the only option to regain [political] popularity in India by increasing tensions with Pakistan.

FM Qureshi urged the United States (US) and House of Commons of the United Kingdom (UK) to play its role for de-escalation between Pakistan and India.

He said that Washington could influence India due to its closer ties with New Delhi, adding that the United States had played its role for defusing tensions between both countries.

Qureshi said that he was contacted by his Saudi counterpart who is due to arrive in Pakistan next week.

Read More: Pakistan’s olive branch: Captured Indian pilot Abhinandan handed back

Commenting over ongoing efforts on diplomatic fronts with foreign countries, Qureshi said, that the government had decided to send letters to British House of Commons and the members of the European Parliament to inform them about Pakistan’s stance and position.

The foreign minister defended Pakistan’s decision to boycott the session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), saying that the parliament had unanimously decided to boycott the OIC session following the participation of Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

He said that parliament was given prime importance in a democracy where a resolution [against Indian aggression] was unanimously passed during a joint session continued for two days.

The foreign minister rejected claims made from certain quarters that Pakistan had decided to release Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman under international pressure.

He clarified that the pilot had been rescued and provided medical treatment on a humanitarian basis and that Islamabad had released Abhinandan as a peace gesture by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Qureshi expressed deep sorrow over the death of a Pakistani-citizen, Shakirullah, who was imprisoned in India.

He said that India had failed to fulfil its responsibility for securing the life of Shakirullah.

The foreign minister praised the role of Pakistani media amid tensed situation contrary to Indian media which only added fuel to the fire.

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