In a tit-for-tat move, Pakistan summoned India’s high commissioner on Thursday, a day after Delhi had summoned Pakistan’s representative in India to lodge a protest over Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s telephone call to Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Dawn News reported.
Qureshi on Tuesday had apprised the Hurriyat Conference (M) leader of Pakistan’s efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue at all international forums and to expose brutalities committed by Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir. He was of the view that India should permit a Commission of Inquiry to visit Kashmir.
The foreign minister had informed the Hurriyat (M) chairman of upcoming events being organised in London at the House of Commons and an exhibition being held in the British capital on Feb 4 and 5. Mirwaiz had said that although he wished to attend, his and his contemporaries’ passports had been confiscated by the government to prevent them from travelling abroad.
According to report published by Dawn News said Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal during a weekly briefing on Thursday said that India had summoned Pakistan’s high commissioner to Delhi on Wednesday night to lodge a protest over Qureshi’s telephone call to Mirwaiz.
Pakistan rejected India’s objections to the telephone call and reaffirmed its support for the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination.
The report said that in response, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua summoned India’s high commissioner to the Foreign Office this morning to lodge a protest over the summoning of Pakistan’s high commissioner to Delhi yesterday.
The Pakistan FO spokesman said Pakistan rejects Indian insinuations that equated the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination to terrorism.
“Kashmir is a disputed territory. The Indian government’s move to summon the Pakistani high commissioner is an attempt to influence the upcoming elections,” the report quoted the Pakistan FO as having said, adding: “If you wish to contest your elections, don’t involve us in them.”
The report said that Pakistan foreign Secretary Janjua made it clear to the Indian diplomat that Pakistan would continue to extend support to the people of Kashmir.
The FO spokesperson explained that Pakistani leadership has always communicated with Kashmiri leadership and that Qureshi’s phone call was not anything new, Radio Pakistan reported.
In a statement, the Pakistan FO reiterated that Kashmir is an outstanding dispute between India and Pakistan.
It added that Pakistan is committed to extending political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris and would maintain support and solidarity with them until the dispute is resolved in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, reported Dawn News.