On Wednesday, October 3, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he asked US to play a facilitating role to engage India and Pakistan in bilateral dialogue. He cited the bilateral disengagement with India a distraction as Pakistan wants to focus on its western border.
Qureshi’s remarks came in response to a question asked at the US Institute of Peace, a top US-Congress funded think tank. Qureshi attended the event at the US Institute of peace after his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US National Security Advisor earlier on October 2.
Qureshi said, “When we asked the US, to play facilitating role… why do we ask? Simply because we are not engaging bilaterally. And that bilateral disengagement is a distraction. We want to focus, we want to move on the western side of the border, which we are not being able to because we have to watch our back from eastern side. That is not a healthy situation to be in”.
Qureshi said that US denied facilitating to engage both countries in bilateral dialogue and this may lead to increased tensions between two neighbours. He pointed out at the surgical strikes by India and said that these make no sense and accused India of doing this just for its domestic politics.
He said, “Now can you (US) facilitate? The answer from them is no. They wanted bilaterally, but there is no bilateral movement… If that lack of facilitation leads to escalation and some of the statements (from India side) that have come out of late have not been very helpful”.
He added, “The so called surgical strikes and stuff like that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t, that’s politics, there are elections around the corner (referring to India)”.
Qureshi also proposed that if India has some other options that can resolve the issues, then it can share it with Pakistan. He quoted, “If the Indians have a better option, share it with us. If disagreement, if not talking to each other will resolve and stabilize the region, fine”.