Islamabad, Feb 25 (IANS) Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said the importance of US President Donald Trump’s statement during his visit to India — in which he said that the US has a “very good relationship” with Pakistan — cannot be denied.
A day earlier, US President Donald Trump, while addressing a packed rally in Ahmedabad after his arrival in India on Monday, said the US has “a very good relationship” with Pakistan, the Dawn reported.
“Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one. Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability and the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” Trump had said on the first day of his whirlwind 36-hour visit meant to reaffirm US-India ties.
In a statement released by the foreign minister’s spokesperson on Tuesday, Qureshi said that Trump’s remark about Pakistan was “extraordinary and its importance cannot be denied”.
“Trump wants peace and stability in the region and has asked India to play a positive role in the area and extend a hand for promoting peace and stability in the region.”
The Foreign Minister said that this will only be possible when the Kashmir issue is solved.
“The current Indian government has further complicated an already complicated problem. India’s measures of August 5 have affected the identity of Kashmir and broken it into several parts.
“Kashmir has been under lockdown for 206 days. How can things progress in these conditions?” he questioned.
“Pakistan’s stance on the disturbance caused by the Citizenship Amendment Act in India can be seen by what is happening in Delhi. If conditions worsen, the void of peace in the region can affect the whole world.”
The minister added that India needs to “review its behaviour and policy”.
Qureshi said Trump “made it clear that Pakistan is a partner of peace in the war against terrorism”. He added that the progress Pakistan has made to defeat terrorism is exemplary.
“Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process is there for the world to see… and Pakistan’s role in the region is being commended.
“The Pakistan which India deemed to be a ‘problem’ is now being seen by the world as a ‘solution’.”
He congratulated the “people of Pakistan, the armed forces and the political leadership for the positive change”.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan called “Trump’s expression of friendship with Pakistan while standing in India is a big development”.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Awan said that Trump’s acknowledgement of Pakistan’s positive role in the fight against terrorism has “buried the Indian stance”.
In another tweet, Awan added that “the world’s acknowledgement of Pakistan’s efforts for regional and international peace is a manifestation of our successful foreign policy” and expressed hope that Trump would talk about the Kashmir issue.