NEW DELHI :
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said the Kashmir issue would continue to remain the “cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy," according to a news report on Sunday.
Chairing a meeting here with the leaders from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as a follow-up to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the PoK’s Legislative Assembly in Muzaffarabad on 5 February, Qureshi said that a lasting solution to the Kashmir dispute was essential for durable peace and stability in South Asia region, PTI reported.
“Kashmir would continue to remain the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy," Qureshi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday.
The remarks will not go down well in India which says that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India. India and Pakistan have fought four wars over Kashmir since 1947. Both countries claim the whole region in its entirety but administer it in parts. The two countries have held many rounds of talks on the resolving the dispute but without any resolution. New Delhi has said Pakistan must stop cross border terrorism against India before any meaningful talks on Kashmir can take place. But Pakistan, which denies any role in supporting terrorism in Kashmir, has said the Kashmir dispute has to be sorted out first for any normalisation of ties with India. Official talks between the two countries have been at a standstill since 2013.
Last year, the Indian parliament revoked the special status granted to Kashmir under its constitution and integrated the region more closely with the rest of the country — a move that Pakistan bitterly criticised given that it means that New Delhi had effectively removed the region under its control from the talks table with Pakistan.
India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 is an internal matter and has also conveyed to Pakistan that this cannot be revisited.