Since Pakistan claims to be championing the Kashmir cause, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s comments during a TV talk show that revocation of Article 370 is India’s “internal matter.” His statement set the cat amongst pigeons as it was construed as surrendering Pakistan’s historical stance that Kashmir is disputed territory.
This statement drew such flak from opposition parties as well as his own PTI that he was forced to go into damage control mode and withdraw his statement unconditionally.
This is not the first time that Qureshi has courted controversy by putting his foot in his mouth. In August last year he antagonized Riyadh by saying casting aspersions on OIC by saying, “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.” Two days after his comment on abrogation of Article 370, Qureshi tweeted, “Let me be clear: Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute on the @UN Security Council agenda.
Final settlement of the dispute lies in #UNSC resolution calling for free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.” Nobody, however, is ready to buy his overhauled argument.
While this drama was being played out at the domestic level, Imran Khan was facing a different kind of heat during his visit to Saudi Arabia.