Pakistan says Kashmir unionists meet with PM Modi was a ‘drama that achieved nothing’

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Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Thursday’s meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and unionists from Kashmir was a “public relations exercise” that had achieved nothing.

“In my view it was a drama and why was it a drama? Because at best it could be called a public relations exercise but nothing was achieved [from it],” said the foreign minister. He termed the talks “unsuccessful and pointless”, adding that nothing would be gained from them.

“Kashmiris are still in search of their identity. They are demanding their autonomous status and independence. They want security and are not accepting the demographic restructuring [in Kashmir].”

FM Qureshi said the Kashmiri politicians had unanimously called for a reversal of the steps taken on 5 August, 2019, during the meeting. “We can clearly analyse from the discourse which has come out that they wish for full fledged restoration of statehood,” he said.

Qureshi said the politicians had gotten no concrete answer on their demands and were instead told that statehood could be restored at an opportune time.

“This is very vague. What is an opportune time? Two years have passed and how many more Kashmiri lives will have to be sacrificed?” questioned the foreign minister. He added the Kashmiris’ lack of confidence and trust had also been raised in the talks as well as the anger and pain being felt by them.

FM Qureshi said the discussions had shown present conditions in IoK to be contrary to Indian government’s claims of “development and prosperity” since compensation had also been demanded for the financial loss suffered by IoK in two years, with one participant claiming that “more than 50 per cent of industry is closed in IoK”.

“So the perception is not that prosperity has arrived or will arrive. Only destruction has arrived,” said Qureshi.

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