Pakistan FM: Don’t weaponize terrorism to score points

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By Webdesk

Bhutto-Zardari is on a two-day visit to India for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has urged member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) not to use “terrorism” as a diplomatic tool in an apparent response to India.

Bhutto-Zardari is on a two-day visit to the Indian city of Goa for a meeting of foreign ministers from the forum’s eight members and four observer countries.

Founded in 2001, the SCO is a political and security bloc in Asia comprising Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Bhutto-Zardari visits India for the first time in 12 years from a Pakistani foreign minister.

On Friday, he emphasized a united response to security threats facing member states, reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace in the region and highlighted the historic losses it has suffered.

The collective security of our peoples is our collective responsibility his address with the SCO.

“Terrorism continues to threaten global security,” he said. Let’s not get caught up in weaponizing terrorism to score diplomatic points. Our success requires that we isolate this issue from geopolitical partisanship. There are practical, pragmatic solutions to end this chapter once and for all. We must stop confusing non-state actors with state actors.”

Ahead of Bhutto-Zardari’s speech, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar highlighted the “threat of terrorism” in his opening speech, warning that it harms the region’s security interests to keep one’s eyes off.

“We firmly believe that there can be no justification for terrorism, and it must be stopped in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism,” Jaishankar said in a clear reference to Kashmir.

Pakistan has repeatedly protested the Indian government’s unilateral decision four years ago to revoke partial autonomy from Indian-administered Kashmir and dissolve its statehood by dividing it into the two federal territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Kashmir has been one of the most contentious issues between the two neighbors since their independence from British rule in 1947. Both sides fully claim the Muslim-majority region but govern parts of it, which are separated by the Line of Control, a de facto border .

Bhutto-Zardari said that “unilateral and unlawful” measures contrary to international law run counter to SCO objectives.

“We must be unequivocal in fulfilling our commitments and shaping a new future for our people, one based not on conflict preservation, but on conflict resolution,” he said, highlighting the need to resist the temptation to foment “prejudice and discrimination”. ”.

He made the remarks at a time when the Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who heads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is facing fierce criticism over rising attacks against Muslims and other religious minorities.

This week, an independent commission in the United States recommended adding India to a religious freedom blacklist as conditions for religious minorities “deteriorated” by 2022.

Bhutto-Zardari also spoke about Pakistan’s northwestern neighbor Afghanistan, which is one of the SCO observer nations. It has been ruled by the Taliban since the US withdrawal and subsequent takeover by the armed group in August 2021.

He called on the international community to “cooperate meaningfully” with the Taliban government.

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