Shah Mahmood Qureshi:The newly appointed foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while speaking to the media in Multan on Thursday, expressed confidence that the country will be able to pull itself out from the quagmire of challenges it faces but urged the people to continue supporting the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government as “bitter decisions are made”.
Qureshi said that in the first 100 days, the PTI will chart out a clear path for the direction the government will take, based on its manifesto.
“It has only been 2-3 days since we have come into power and there has only been one working day so far,” said Qureshi. “In the first cabinet meeting, [Prime Minister] Imran Khan sahab has made some major decisions. He has given directions and you should see how happy the people are with those directions.”
“They [the people] believe that their leader has understood their difficulties and taken on the mantle to adopt austerity,” he said while addressing a query regarding how the PM plans on meeting the nation’s expectations.
When asked if these “bitter decisions” that the foreign minister had referred to earlier, will translate into the burden being shifted onto the people, Qureshi said: “No, not at all. The burden will be shared by all.”
Commenting on the Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case — which according to reports will be taken up by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in February next year — Qureshi said: “We have concrete evidence against Kulbhushan Jadhav and are hopeful we will emerge victorious in ICJ.”
He said he was thankful to the Indian prime minister who had extended Eid wishes to Pakistanis and wished the millions of Muslims in India the same.
Regarding the creation of a South Punjab province, he said that efforts are underway towards making that a reality.
“We will be requiring the support of various political parties for this purpose. We will be requiring two-thirds majority which the [Pakistan] Tehreek-i-Insaf does not hold. However, we stand resolute in our intentions to take this matter forward. This area which has long been neglected will get what it is owed.”
Answering a query regarding the possible formation of an international platform other than the United Nations (UN) which is seen by many as biased towards Muslims, Qureshi highlighted the importance of the forum and said that “consensus building takes time”. He said he will be going to New York in the third week of September and will put forth Pakistan’s concerns before the UN.