Pakistan to continue boycott of Indian ministers' speeches at intl events

Pakistan said on Thursday that it will continue to boycott speeches of the Indian ministers on international forums over the situation in Kashmir.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal confirmed that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi boycotted the speech of the Indian minister at the Heart of Asia conference in Turkey early this month.

Qureshi on Monday left the hall as soon as Union Minister of State Road Transport and Highways Gen (Retd) V.K. Singh started his speech at the 8th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in Istanbul.

“Such steps would also be taken in future,” Faisal said.

“Definitely, we will continue with such appropriate steps, as per requirement,” Faisal further said in response to a question.

In September, Qureshi boycotted External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s opening statement at the meeting of the SAARC Council of Foreign Ministers, saying his country will not engage with India “until and unless” it lifts the “siege” in Kashmir.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have spiked since India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August.

India’s decision evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian ambassador.

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