Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi likely to lose post

On Sunday, Pakistani army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, accompanied by the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz left for Riyadh to meet with the Saudi leadership in an attempt to mend damaged ties.
Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had accused the Organisation of Islamic Conference of dilly-dallying on the Kashmir issue.(Reuters File Photo)
Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had accused the Organisation of Islamic Conference of dilly-dallying on the Kashmir issue.(Reuters File Photo)
Updated on Aug 17, 2020 05:46 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Islamabad | ByImtiaz Ahmad

Islamabad is abuzz with rumours that Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi may be replaced with the human rights minister Shireen Mazari as the government tries to mend damaged relations with Saudi Arabia over the former’s remarks.

Qureshi had accused the Organisation of Islamic Conference of dilly-dallying on the Kashmir issue in remarks that were seen by Riyadh as an attack on its leadership of the organisation.

“I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation. If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris,” Qureshi had said on a local news channel.

On Sunday, Pakistani army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, accompanied by the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz left for Riyadh to meet with the Saudi leadership in an attempt to mend damaged ties.

Human rights minister Shireen Mazari publicly criticised the country’s foreign affairs ministry, saying it had let down both the Kashmiris and prime minister Khan.

Her statement is being seen as a first step to replace Qureshi in a bid to pacify the Saudis.

The statement by Mazari suggests that the Imran Khan government is publicly distancing itself from the actions and statements of foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Earlier on Saturday, Sheikh Rasheed, a senior member of the Imran Khan cabinet, claimed in a televised statement that relations with Saudi Arabia were already on the mend and that the army chief would be visiting the Kingdom on Sunday to iron out outstanding minor differences.

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