JeM chief in Pakistan: Qureshi

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi   | Photo Credit: Anjum Naveed

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar is in Pakistan, and asked India to give “solid inalienable evidence” for action to be taken against him.

“According to my information, he is very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house because he is really unwell. That’s the information I have,” Mr. Qureshi told CNN in an interview.

“If they [India] give us evidence which is acceptable to the courts of Pakistan — after all, we will have to justify. They will go to court. If they have solid inalienable evidence, share it with us so that we can convince the people and convince the independent judiciary of Pakistan,” said the Foreign Minister.

“We will be open to any step that leads to de-escalation. If they have good solid evidence, please sit and talk. Please initiate a dialogue and we will show reasonableness.”

When asked if he doubts the allegations spreading terror against Azhar and Jaish, Mr. Qureshi said: “It’s not a question of me doubting, there is a legal process and you have to satisfy the legal process”.

He said the focus of his government is on fixing Pakistan’s economic problems and improving governance in the country.

“We want to see peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The western front is consuming us. After a very long time in Pakistan, there is a government which has the complete support of the Pakistan Armed forces – the civil and the political leadership is on the same page. The policy of this government is that we will not allow our soil to be used any organisation or any individual against anyone, and that includes India,” he added.

Mr. Qureshi said he hopes there’s no war between the two countries. “It would be mutual suicide”.

Meanwhile, former Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said Pakistan has to introspect and convince the world that it has nothing to do with terrorism.

“Now there is a need for introspection and we need to satisfy the world that we have no relation with terrorism. We have successfully fought a war against terror. Those who were the West’s assets in the past and as a consequence were our assets as well have now become a liability for us,” he told a joint session of Parliament, referring to the Afghan jihad of the 1980s.

“Nawaz Sharif was called a traitor for saying this. Today, Foreign Qureshi said ‘we should set our house in order’. I had said this same thing one and a half years ago, but I faced severe criticism,” Mr. Asif, who belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said.

“I am glad Foreign Minister Qureshi agrees with us today. When Nawaz Sharif said we need to put our house in order, he was called ‘Ghaddar’ (traitor) and ‘Modi ka yaar’ (Modi’s friend). Yesterday, Prime Minister [Imran Khan] said I have been trying to call Modi every day but he hasn’t responded. We did not call him ‘Modi ka yaar’.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 3:26:28 PM |

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