Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani and discussed the Kashmir issue, the foreign office said here on Sunday, days after Qureshi made a similar phone call to a separatist leader that angered India.
Qureshi and Geelani discussed about an international conference to be held in London to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people, the foreign office said in a statement.
"Foreign minister spoke to the senior leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference on telephone before his departure for London to attend international activities to be held there in connection with the Kashmir Day," the statement said.
Qureshi Tuesday telephoned Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and discussed with him Islamabad's efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue. India next day summoned Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood and categorically told him that Qureshi's telephonic conversation with Mirwaiz was a "brazen attempt to subvert India's unity and violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity".
India said that Qureshi's telephonic conversation with a separatist leader reflected the "duplicity in Pakistani leadership's approach on ties with India". The Pakistan foreign office Sunday said Qureshi exchanged views with Geelani about the programmes to be held in London.
"The foreign minister will speak at the International Kashmir Conference at the British Parliament on Monday. On Tuesday he will also attend the exhibition at the Park Lane in connection with the Kashmir Day," it said. Talking to media in Multan on Saturday, Qureshi had said Pakistan has no intention to interfere in India's internal matters and New Delhi should not make an issue out of his telephonic conversation with Mirwaiz. New Delhi should also stop blaming Islamabad for its problems, he said. "We want to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue but India is making undue hue and cry," he said.
"Issues are emerging in India but Pakistan has no role in that," Qureshi said. Qureshi said he would highlight Pakistan's viewpoint on Kashmir issue at an event in the House of Common in London this week.
The foreign office also issued Qureshi's statement before his departure to London in which he was quoted as saying that Kashmir is an "important pillar" of Pakistan's foreign policy.
"Pakistan will continue its support for the oppressed Kashmiris on political, moral and foreign levels and want resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolution," he said.
"India gets annoyed if the Kashmir issue is highlighted despite the fact that it is a resolvable issue. The real face of India would be exposed by presenting Pakistan's point of view on the issue in the international conference being held on Kashmir in London at the House of Commons," he said. He said regardless of which political party wins the next election in India, Pakistan would reciprocate to the new government's good gesture in New Delhi.
In Srinagar, the Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani issued a statement which also confirmed that Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called on Geelani over telephone and discussed the "current volatile situation in Jammu and Kashmir".
"Thanking Pakistan for its moral, political and diplomatic support to our just cause and struggle since 1947, Hurriyat chairman said we pray to the Almighty Allah for peace, strength, stability, progress and prosperity of Pakistan because a strong and stable Pakistan is very important for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute," the statement read.
Geelani, according to the statement, expressed his hope that the new government will leave no stone unturned to "safeguard the basic and fundamental rights of the oppressed and suppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir".
"Geelani asked Pakistan to take cognisance of deteriorating human values and prevailing bloodshed in the state and urged them to activate its embassies all over the world and appraise the world about this issue and atrocities faced by people from (Indian) forces," the statement read, adding: "He (Geelani) also expressed hope that if Pakistan makes its sincere efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue at international level, the world leadership will play a positive role regarding the settlement of this long-pending dispute in accordance to the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state".
In conversation with the foreign minister of Pakistan, Geelani said that the "repressive measures" adopted by the government of India in Kashmir have "compelled the people of Kashmir to resist through peaceful means". "Authorities in the state have crossed all limits, people and leadership are caged and voices strangulated, hence it is the duty of Pakistan to represent our aspiration, in every corner and in all world forums," Geelani said, according to the statement.
Urging people of Pakistan to maintain peace and work for prosperity of the nation and serve and respect minorities in that country, Geelani stressed for the cordial relation between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran and said that best relation between these countries "will lead the region to overall stability, peace, development, and progress", the statement read. "In his response Pakistan foreign minister assured Hurriyat chairman that Pakistan will raise strong voice to highlight Indian aggression and brutalities being perpetrated against the people of Jammu and Kashmir," the statement read.