File photo of Pakistan FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s remarks against Saudi Arabia after Riyadh refused to interfere on Kashmir issue, has invited criticism at home.
The differences in their relations surfaced when Pakistan was made to pay back $1 billion to Saudi Arabia. This reflected the fact that Islamabad is gradually losing the support of other Muslim countries.
Recently two Pakistani journalists — Rauf Klasra and Amir Mateen — held a discussion on the sudden policy shift of Saudi Arabia towards Pakistan.
While criticising Qureshi for making such statements, Mateen said, “Sometimes Qureshi speaks emotionally. He gets carried away.”
As Pakistan, which is in a financial crisis, is dependent on Saudi Arabia, Qureshi should have been cautious of making any statements, he said.
“As we are very much dependent on Saudi Arabia, we should complain only to a limit. Amid such a situation, Qureshi should have been careful because Mohammed bin Salman is young and has impulsive behaviour.”
Mateen further said, “It should not have been expected that as Saudi Arabia is a friend of Pakistan so it will automatically be against India’s stance on Kashmir. This is not a college but an international arena.”
The development comes even as Pakistan has been pushing for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) since India abrogated Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a report published by Dawn, a Pakistan diplomatic source confirmed that Saudi Arabia had shown reluctance to accept Islamabad’s request for an immediate meeting of OIC foreign ministers’ on Kashmir.
After Pakistan failed to gather support from the OIC members on Kashmir on May 22, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “The reason is that we have no voice and there is a total division amongst (us). We cannot even come together as a whole on the OIC meeting on Kashmir.”
Though Pakistan reportedly made attempts to push its narrative of raising the issue of rising Islamophobia in India in its agenda, Maldives, an ally of India, thwarted the move and said, “Isolated statements by motivated people and disinformation campaigns on social media should not be construed as representative of the feelings of 1.3 billion.”
Maldives Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Thilmeeza Hussain, said that alleging Islamophobia in the context of India would be factually incorrect.