ISLAMABAD: For the first time since the recent military standoff between China and India in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, Pakistan Friday publicly told Beijing that the regional security situation was deteriorating and underlined that India’s belligerent posture and expansionist policies were threatening peace in the region.
Pakistan also sent out a clear message to the world capitals that it remained committed to ‘One-China policy’ and firmly supported China on its core interests including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang.
The two sides were interacting after the militant attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange, which the outlawed terrorist group BLA said was carried out to send a message to China’s investments in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan.
The last few weeks have seen a contact between the two sides on these issues at the official level and Friday saw a phone call between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in which bilateral, regional and international issues were discussed.
“State Councilor Wang Yi briefed Foreign Minister Qureshi about the regional situation. He lauded Pakistan’s sincere and relentless efforts to promote peace and stability in the region and thanked Pakistan for the support it has extended to China during difficult and challenging times,” said a statement from the Foreign Office.
Both sides also reaffirmed their resolve to support each other at the multilateral institutions and hoped that those institutions would foster a spirit of objectivity and coherence in advancing their goals.
Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored that disputes in the region should be resolved through peaceful means and agreed mechanisms rather than resorting to unilateral, illegal, and coercive measures reflected in India’s decision of 5 August 2019.
“Apart from committing egregious violations of human rights in IOJ&K, India is seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. The foreign minister also briefed Wang Yi about the repeated violations committed by India across the LOC as well as the targeted killing of civilians. In the face of Indian provocations, Pakistan is exercising restraint,” added the statement.
Qureshi underscored that Pakistan and China were ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners’ and had preserved the fine tradition of expressing solidarity, mutual assistance and mutual support to each other in the face of common challenges.
State Councilor Wang Yi was quoted as saying during the telephone call that the CPEC was a flagship project of BRI and that the second phase of CPEC will complement Pakistan’s efforts aimed at job creation, enhancing agricultural productivity, reducing poverty, and massive economic recovery.
Qureshi underlined that BRI and CPEC would become the hub of trade and economic activity, sustainable development and greater people-to-people exchanges. Pakistan and China were taking relevant measures, which will help timely completion of CPEC projects.
The two foreign ministers expressed determination to promote peace and development in Afghanistan. It was hoped that the next meeting of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers Dialogue would take place at the earliest to facilitate peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.
Both sides reaffirmed the resolve to take measures aimed at earliest possible economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Wang Yi emphasized that, in the aftermath of COVID-19, Beijing was taking swift, practical, and demonstrable measures to promote economic recovery in the region.
He thanked Pakistan for supporting Beijing’s idea of ‘Health Silk Road’ which, he believed, would play a major role in addressing the region’s social and economic needs.
Both sides resolved to implement consensus reached by the leadership of the two countries to deepen strategic consultation and coordination at all levels so as to collectively promote shared goals of peace and stability.
They decided to have face-to-face meeting soon to discuss challenges confronted by the region.
Meanwhile, earlier the Foreign Office rejected remarks by the Indian MEA’s spokesperson regarding elections in Gilgit-Baltistan. “The Indian government, which has been holding fraudulent “elections” in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) under the barrel of Indian occupation forces, and has turned the occupied region into the world’s largest open prison, has no locus standi to comment on elections in Gilgit-Baltistan,” said the Foreign Office.
Pakistan reiterates that India remains in illegal occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which is the longest outstanding item on UN Security Council’s agenda, stems from India’s forcible and illegal occupation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947.