Pakistani FM speaks to Guterres, Blinken on Kashmir, food security
The newly assigned Pakistani Foreign Minister addresses a number of issues at the UN headquarters in New York.
In a meeting on Wednesday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Pakistan's newly assigned Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari brought up the concern of Jammu and Kashmir, a region between India and Pakistan that has been experiencing ongoing systemic oppression and killings from the Hindutva Indian army.
Read more: Muslims in India and Kashmir face systemic violence
Zardari emphasized that Pakistan seeks peace with its neighbors in the area, including India, which won't progress if the Indian army won't resolve the issue.
Islamabad's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the meeting, writing that Zardari "underscored that Pakistan desires peace with all its neighbors, including India, which will continue to remain elusive" unless the Jammu and Kashmir issue is "resolved in accordance with the UN security resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people."
Furthermore, Zardari referred to India’s revoking of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, which outraged Pakistan in 2019, degrading diplomatic ties and resulting in the expulsion of the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad.
New Delhi’s revocation of Article 370 is, according to them, an internal matter, and they consider the region an important part of India, expressing the country’s desire for "normal neighborly relations free of terror and violence."
Islamabad also conveyed its concern to Guterres regarding instability in Afghanistan, which may also affect the stability of Pakistan. The international community, Zardari believes, should address Kabul’s humanitarian needs and prevent the total collapse of the economy.
Read more: Death toll in Pakistani airstrikes in Afghan province rises to 47
Speaking with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the UN headquarters in New York, Zardari also brought up the topic of food insecurity, which many countries and peoples are facing today due to the war in the world’s bread basket.
Zardari welcomed initiatives to address global food security, among other things. “Countries like Pakistan have already been facing challenges in food security, water security, energy insecurity because of a whole host of issues ranging from climate change to issues in our neighborhood. So this particular initiative is most welcome and most important," he said.
The Pakistani FM expressed enthusiasm about future cooperation between Pakistan and the United States, including creating “opportunities for American investors, and Pakistani investors, and Pakistani businessmen, and American entrepreneurs to work together.”
At the beginning of this month, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah vowed to put in custody dismissed Prime Minister Imran Khan. In a statement, Sanaullah described Imran Khan as an agent of “sedition”, adding, "Imran Khan will definitely be arrested."