Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the Foreign Office today. This is Secretary General Guterres’ first visit to Pakistan since assuming office in 2016.
The meeting provided an opportunity to renew Pakistan’s commitment to work with the United Nations in the realms of international peace and security; climate change; and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Foreign Minister also reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding commitment to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. Recalling the Government’s people-centered agenda, the Foreign Minister highlighted the need for support from the United Nations in implementing the Ehassas and Kamyab Jawan programmes. The Secretary General applauded Pakistan’s generosity in hosting more than three million Afghan refugees over the course of last four decades, which deserve the support of the international community. The Foreign Minister underscored that the international community must develop a gradual, time-bound, well-resourced and mutually-agreed road map for the return of the Afghan refugees, which must be vital component of peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s continued support for an Afghan-led and Afghan owned peace and reconciliation process.
The Foreign Minister and Secretary General exchanged views on the serious human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K). Foreign Minister Qureshi conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern over continuing lockdown and communications blockade in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019. India’s belligerent posture and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control threaten both regional and the international peace and security. He referred to the possibility of false flag operation by India to divert global attention from the situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Secretary General reiterated that the position of the United Nations on Jammu and Kashmir was governed by the Charter of the United Nations, including provisions on the peaceful settlement of disputes, and applicable Security Council resolutions.
While reiterating that Jammu & Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes that remain on the agenda of the UN Security Council, the Foreign Minister urged the Secretary General to use his good offices to mediate and enable the Kashmiris to realize their right to self-determination, as enshrined in numerous UN Security Council resolutions and the UN Charter.
The Foreign Minister underscored the importance of UNMOGIP to monitor the situation along the Line of Control and impressed upon the Secretary General to strengthen it. Highlighting Pakistan’s contributions, the Foreign Minister lauded the role of Pakistani valiant men and women peacekeepers, as one of the largest troops contributing countries to the UN Peacekeeping Missions around the world. He paid tribute to the sacrifices made by 157 peacekeepers in the line of duty. Recognizing the threat posed by climate change, the Foreign Minister stressed the importance of collective action by the international community to counter this threat and underscored Pakistan’s readiness to work with him and support his efforts.
Secretary General Guterres also planted a tree at the Foreign Office to commemorate Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative. The Foreign Minister hosted a dinner in honour of the Secretary General.