ISLAMABAD: Underlining the Pakistan government’s offer to open Kartarpur border to facilitate Sikh pilgrims, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said the decision of Prime Minister Imran Khan won the hearts of millions of Sikhs.
Speaking to a private television channel, the foreign minister said Prime Minister Khan had mentioned in his first speech that if India took a step forward Pakistan would take two.
“The incumbent government has its clear policy to maintain friendly ties with the neighbouring countries.” Despite a lot of criticism from Kabul against Pakistan, our leadership decided to visit Afghanistan, said Qureshi.
The PM’s visit to China was aimed at taking China Pakistan Economic Corridor to the next stage of progress.
He also thanked Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for optimistically responding to Pakistan’s offer over Kartarpur border. “We are satisfied with the response of Indian government,” he added.
The Foreign Minister said the government wants to engage India on all forums without being oblivious to the core issue of Occupied Kashmir.
Qureshi said that endorsement by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for opening of Kartarpur corridor is a great diplomatic triumph for Pakistan.
He said opening of Kartarpur corridor was a long standing desire of the Sikh community of India as a number of religious sites in Pakistan have also attraction for them.
The foreign minister said that the PTI government wants good neighbourly relations with India and to engage New Delhi on all forums without being oblivious to the core issue of Kashmir.
Qureshi also said that there is a complete national consensus that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an engine of economic progress and development for Pakistan.
He said Chinese also considered Pakistan’s economic stability and this time tested friendship will further grow irrespective of the political parties at the helms of affairs.
Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and said it desired China to also play its role in resolving the issue due to its prominent position in the region. NNI