‘External powers’ want to destabilize Pakistan: Qureshi

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Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said that some external powers wanted to destabilise Pakistan by arming and funding the terrorist elements involved in the attacks like yesterday’s suicide blast at a Peshawar imambargah.
“They back such elements by giving them arms and funds so that they can keep the western borders of Pakistan hot,” Qureshi said while talking to the media in Tandojam.
He noted that the situation was worsening in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and the powers in question wanted to create a distraction for Pakistan on the western borders.
Qureshi observed that the mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic by India had caused a setback to their economy, adding that Pakistan comparatively managed the situation well.
“The textile industry of Pakistan has received so many orders that the mills are struggling to meet,” he said, adding that no textile mills, looms or spindles were closed in Faisalabad at the moment.
According to him, textile exports had stalled during the tenures of previous governments. He credited the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for the growth of housing and tourism sectors and said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has also provided a relief package to industries.
The FM recalled that when the cricket team of New Zealand was scheduled to visit Pakistan a scare was spread and the team’s visit was cancelled. He added that in that regard he presented the statistics and proofs at a press conference at the foreign office besides handing over dossiers to the Secretary General of the United Nations, President of the Security Council and their foreign ministers.
Replying to another query, he said that 900,000 Indian army troops were stationed in IIOJK, adding that extrajudicial killings were happening under the name of so-called special laws.
“The occupying forces take away young men and after some days their dead bodies are found. There were also mass graves. All these are tactics through which they have suppressed the people,” he added.
He threw down the gauntlet to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to come to Muzaffarabad and present his case to the people. In return, he said, Modi should allow PM Imran to go to Srinagar and present his case before the people there.
“Then let the people judge who is right and who wins,” he stated. He apprised that he had written 23 letters to UNSC over the Kashmir issue and organised debates in the UN thrice since August 2019, the month during which India illegally annexed IIOJK.
Qureshi said no other leader of Pakistan had fought the case of Kashmir more eagerly in recent history than Prime Minister Imran Khan. He asked the people to take up speeches of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and compare them with Khan’s speeches to find out which of the two leaders mentioned the Kashmir issue more times.
Commenting on the creation of a new province in Punjab, he said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was deceiving the people to whom he promised that he would create South Punjab province.
He told that some time ago he wrote a letter to Bilawal and asked him to join hands with the PTI government to address the issue of South Punjab but the PPP leader did not even bother to reply.
FM Qureshi said that the PTI swept 2018 polls in southern Punjab but PPP could only secure four seats. Qureshi credited the PTI government for having taken practical steps in the direction of materialising its promises with the people of South Punjab.
The foreign minister elaborated that as part of the administrative actions taken by the PTI government, the secretariats of bureaucracy had been established in Multan and Bahawalpur.
He added that the separate rules of business had been formed and additional chief secretaries and additional IGs had been posted there.
The foreign minister said that the secretaries of 16 different departments including education, health and other public service-oriented departments had been posted in Multan and Bahawalpur.
“The region had been provided separate development funds which could not be utilised in any other part of Punjab,” he claimed.
He said that the prime minister was planning to provide a fixed employment quota to the youth of South Punjab. Qureshi asked the PPP leadership to tell the nation what special measures had they taken to serve the people of Sindh which they were ruling for a third consecutive term since 2008.