Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has linked the situation at Line of Control (LoC) with ongoing Afghan peace process saying action by the Indian Army is a “distraction”.
Indian and Pakistani armies have traded heavy fire along the LoC in the last few days. The government has also asked tourists and Amarnath yatris to leave Kashmir in light of a fresh terror threat in the Valley.
Speaking to a Pakistani media channel, Qureshi said, “On one hand the Afghan peace process is going through a critical stage. US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad has reached Doha after a successful visit to Islamabad. He has an important meeting in Doha. The action by the Indian Army is a distraction. These spoilers can impact peace.”
The last time Pakistan made such a statement, it was after the Pulwama attack for which Kabul had summoned Pakistani envoy to Afghanistan to mark its protest.
In February, in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack for which Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility, the Pakistani envoy to Kabul Zahid Nasrullah linked any response by Indian Army AS impacting the Afghan peace process.
On US President Donald Trump’s offer of mediation on Kashmir, the Pak FM said, “US President understands the sensitivity of the issue and that how greatly it’s associated with peace and stability in South Asia and therefore he offered to mediate.”
Trump in the last 10 days have raked up Kashmir twice, in both cases, India has reminded him that it can only be discussed with Islamabad if at all warranted.
Pakistan looks emboldened by Trump’s mediation offer and with Washington eager to leave Afghanistan, Islamabad is sensing an opportunity to create trouble.
Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary told WION, “Imran Khan is playing the old game of linking India’s legitimate actions in Jammu and Kashmir to curb Pak-supported terrorism to its complying with US demands to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to promote the so-called peace process in Afghanistan which is a sham.”
Explaining, Sibal further said, “He is trying to capitalise on Trump’s thoughtless comments on mediation on the Kashmir issue. Imran Khan will not succeed in this usual Pakistan duplicity.”
Former Indian envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha told WION, “There is no connection between Pak cooperation on Taliban and what is happening in India. I guess they are just seeking a way out of their commitments made to President Trump. Tough for Pakistan to cut its umbilical cord with terror groups including the Taliban.”