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‘Pakistan is an Islamic welfare state’: Qureshi responds to Indian COAS

MULTAN: Hitting back the Indian Army Chief over his recent remarks about Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday said, “Pakistan is an Islamic welfare state and has a strong ideological foundation”.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had remarked that Pakistan needs to be a secular country to have better ties with India.

Speaking to media men in Multan, the foreign minister said that such remarks have no value as Pakistan was founded in the name of Islam and remains an Islamic state.

He welcomed New Delhi’s response to Pakistan’s initiative to open border crossing in Kartapur, aimed at fulfilling the demand of Sikh community.

“We are thankful to Indian government. They also sent two ministers to the ceremony,” he contented.

Mr Qureshi said Pakistan has the desire for peace at its eastern and western borders and better relations with neighbors which will bring opulence in the region.

Responding to a query regarding formation of south Punjab province, Qureshi said, there were some legal restrictions and the matter requires a constitutional amendment.

“We need support from other political parties in the parliament in this matter”, he continued.

The minister said, a secretariat will be formed in south Punjab for the solution of the matters of the masses in their own area, adding “ separate budget will be given to south Punjab from next year.”

Replying to another question, during media talk, the FM said, PTI believes in across the board accountability and respects judiciary.

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