- Qureshi said Saudi Arabia was the friend of Pakistan and also had business ties with India, which was a big importer of Saudi oil.
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday said Pakistan would welcome the third-party facilitation by Saudi Arabia or any other country for resumption of talks with India.
“Pakistan is ready for third-party facilitation. It is India that has always shied away from it,” he said in a press conference held here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Qureshi said Saudi Arabia was the friend of Pakistan and also had business ties with India, which was a big importer of Saudi oil.
“If Saudi Arabia wants to play a role (in facilitating talks), we will welcome,” he said.
He recalled that the ceasefire agreement between Pakistan and India was welcomed by the world including Saudi Arabia.
The foreign minister confirmed that there were “no formal talks” at the moment with India, however said if India wanted it to make it happen, it “must take the first step forward”.
“If India wants a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan, it has to review its policy on Kashmir and undo the revocation of their special status,” he said.
He called upon India to give relief to the Kashmiri people, who were suffering the 19-month-long military siege and the search and cordon operations, and thus “pave way for a conducive environment for talks”.
To a question regarding his recent statement on Article-370 of the India constitution, he said Pakistan was firm on its stance that “Kashmir is not an internal matter of India”.
“Pakistan has not taken any U-turn and will never do so. The dispute, which is at the agenda of United Nations Security Council with several resolutions on it, cannot be an internal matter of India,” he categorically said.
“There is no ambiguity and Pakistan will continue highlighting the plight of Kashmiris at all international fora,” he added.
By revoking Article 35-A, he said, India was distorting the demography of the Valley and denying the Kashmiris their identity.