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No possibility of talks with before Indian elections: Shah Mehmood

15 November, 2018

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that there is no possibility of resumption of peace talks with India before the upcoming general elections in the neighbouring country.

He was speaking to the media after attending a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Responding to a question, the foreign minister underlined the continued commitment of the government to strengthen the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Qureshi said he briefed the committee on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s foreign policy. The participants of the meeting strongly condemned atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces in the Occupied Kashmir.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visits to Saudi Arabia and China and Pakistan’s bilateral relations with India and Afghanistan were also discussed during the meeting.

Dismissing all rumours, Foreign Minister Qureshi said Asia Bibi had not left the country. He, however, added that the case should not be discussed in the media for being sub-judice at the Supreme Court.

The foreign minister also avoided commenting on a question regarding Superintendent Police (SP) Tahir Dawar’s abduction and alleged murder in Afghanistan.

The meeting was presided over by its Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed and the members of the committee expressed satisfaction over the detailed, comprehensive and informative briefing given by the foreign minister.

During the meeting, the foreign minister also mentioned that economic diplomacy would be the top priority of the Foreign Office. The Committee was also updated on the case of Dr. Afia Siddiqui and in this regard Foreign Minister referred to his meeting with sister of Dr Afia Siddiqui the other day.

The committee members expressed their strong view that the government should make all-out efforts for the release and repatriation of Dr Afia Siddiqui.

On the issue of the international non-government organizations (INGOs), the Foreign Affairs Committee directed the Foreign Office to prepare a policy and present it before parliament for approval.

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