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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Pak’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi boycotts S Jaishankar’s opening statement at SAARC meeting, brings up Kashmir issue

Pakistan minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi showed up just minutes after Jaishankar left after his opening statement at SAARC.

world Updated: Sep 27, 2019 11:13 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
New York
Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi(Reuters file photo)
         

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday boycotted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s opening statement at an informal meeting of SAARC on the sidelines of the UNGA saying he “will not engage with India until and unless they lift the siege and put an end to atrocities in Kashmir”.

“They must safeguard human rights of Kashmiris, ensure they are protected and not violated or trampled upon,” a tweet from the ruling PTI’s handle said about the boycott, and added, the minister “refuses to attend Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s statement at the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers”.

Qureshi showed up just minutes after Jaishankar left after his opening statement as he had been expected, according to Indian officials, without responding to questions from reporters waiting for him.

 WATCH | ‘Pakistan a challenging neighbour’: Jaishankar at CRF event

The Pakistani foreign minister has been known for pulling off stunts at SAARC. In 2018, he had come out accusing the then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj of boycotting his speech, when she had actually left after finishing her own speech and had another meeting to attend, as had the Bangladeshi and Afghanistan foreign ministers.