FM Qureshi wraps up 5-day visit; ‘satisfied’ with his talks at UN

311 FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi

NEW YORK, (APP): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has wrapped up his five-day trip to New York at the head of Pakistan’s delegation to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, saying he was satisfied with the talks he had with a number of his counterparts and heads of international organizations on global and regional problems, especially Kashmir and Afghanistan.

Addressing Pakistani new media representatives on Friday night, he said that he felt there was a better understanding of Pakistan’s viewpoint now among the international community.

FM Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stirring, wide-ranging address to the 193-member Assembly was constructive and statesman-like, especially his call for a probe to determine the background and the reasons that led to the collapse of Ashraf Ghani’s government and the return of Taliban to powers.

He also said PM Khan had exposed Indian propaganda about Jammu and Kashmir and brought home to member states the real state of affairs in the disputed territory. He also referred to Pakistan’s recently released comprehensive and

well-researched Dossier containing the entire range of gross, systematic, and widespread violations of human rights being perpetrated by Indian security forces in the occupied territory.

The foreign minister said he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting of OIC’s Contact Group in which his counterparts from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Azerbaijan participated and reaffirmed their stand on the Kashmir dispute.

Among the dozens of meetings, the foreign minister had here was his first face-to-face interaction with the US Secretary of State Antony Brinken with whom he had an exchange of views for over an hour.

Replying to questions, the foreign minister said the atmosphere at the meeting was “good”, as the objective was to remove misunderstandings. Secretary Blinken, he said, was respectful and he listened to Pakistan’s viewpoint at length, and then he put forward his views.

On his part, Qureshi said Secretary Blinken appreciated Pakistan’s support for the evacuation of U.S citizens and other nationals from Afghanistan and its continued efforts for peace in the region.

To another question, the foreign minister said they had a discussion about the move to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan. In this regard, he said he had suggested that engagement with the Taliban, persuasion, and patience would help accomplish the objective.

FM Qureshi said that the ministerial-level meeting of Unity for Consensus (UfC) stood by its stand that any decision to restructure the UN Security Council should be taken by consensus. The UfC group firmly opposed any addition among permanent members for which India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan are candidates, but it sought expansion in non-permanent members on the 15-member body.

The log-running Inter-governmental Negotiations (IGN) would be expected to resume next month to restart work on reforming the Security Council.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram, and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, were present at the press conference.

The foreign minister is due to depart for Islamabad later today.

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