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Wednesday Feb 27 2019

Will not participate in OIC meeting if Sushma Swaraj attends: FM Qureshi

Qureshi says Turkish foreign minister telephoned him and extended support. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said he will not attend a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled for next month if Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj participates in it.

The Indian minister has been invited as a "guest of honour" at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers' conclave in Abu Dhabi next month. 

Speaking to Geo Pakistan, Qureshi said, "I have no reservations with OIC or any other Islamic country. My reservations are with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's attendance at the OIC meeting."

"If Swaraj attends the meeting then I will not participate in it," the foreign minister asserted.

Qureshi shared that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telephoned him.

"The Turkish foreign minister telephoned me himself and sought to be briefed on the current situation."

"Cavusoglu clarified that Turkey is fully standing behind Pakistani people and government," he added. "The Turkish foreign minister said the prayers and cooperation of Turks are with their Pakistani brothers and sisters."

"We believe India has committed aggression against a brother Islamic country and attacked a founding member of the OIC," Qureshi quoted Cavusoglu as saying.

"The Turkish foreign minister said there is no reason for Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and Turkey will fully oppose her invitation and opportunity to address," he added.

Further, Qureshi said he wrote a second letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last night.

Last night while speaking on Geo News show Aaj Shahzaib Khanzada Kay Sath, the foreign minister said, “I have spoken to the United Arab Emirates foreign minister and have expressed my reservations over her invitation. I have made myself clear that India has shown aggression.”

“Under the current circumstances, it will not be possible for me to attend OIC meeting where Swaraj is present,” he said.

Qureshi further said he spoke on call to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and apprised his US counterpart over the blatant Line of Control (LoC) violation by the Indian security forces, and the stance of Pakistani government, parliament and masses' reaction over the concerning development.

Leaders from opposition parties demanded that Pakistan boycott the OIC meeting. The demand of the opposition parties came following Indian aircraft violating Pakistani airspace across the LoC and being repelled due to the timely response of Pakistan Air Force.

"Indian aircraft intrusion across LoC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJK was 3-4 miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow," director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations wrote on Twitter.

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