LONDON: A Reception was hosted at the Pakistan House (High Commissioner’s residence) in London in honour of the Foreign Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The event was attended by a large number of eminent members of the British Pakistani community including parliamentarians, academia, business-people, and professionals.
While addressing the gathering, the foreign minister lauded the outstanding contribution of the British Pakistani Diaspora in cementing Pakistan-UK relations.
Pleased to meet esteemed members of the British Pakistani Diaspora including parliamentarians, academia, business-people and professionals. Their contribution to cementing Pakistan-UK relations has been tremendous. pic.twitter.com/Af7VND7VRD
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) September 27, 2021
The foreign minister apprised the participants of the steps taken by the government to facilitate Overseas Pakistanis including granting them voting rights. He appreciated in particular, the buy-in of initiatives such as Roshan Digital Accounts on part of the community.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi apprised the gathering of efforts being made by Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue and highlight human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) at every forum including the UN General Assembly Session in New York. A well-researched Dossier containing evidence of war crimes committed by Indian Occupation forces had been prepared which included audio recordings and videos of human rights violations. The Dossier had been shared with a large number of interlocutors. He invited the attendees to confirm for themselves the veracity of the evidence shared therein. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to stand in solidarity with its Kashmiri brethren till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.
The foreign minister also briefed community members about Pakistan’s perspective on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, where a new political reality had emerged. Dismissing Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices, the country was being blamed by some for the recent turn of events, which was patently unfair. After 40 years of war, the Afghans wanted peace and stability. Only deep analysis would reveal the real reasons behind the failure of Afghan National Security Forces, which lay within Afghanistan rather than outside.
The foreign minister informed the audience that Pakistan had extended every possible support for the evacuation of foreign and Afghan nationals who wished to leave the Country, and also set up a humanitarian corridor. It was imperative that the international community did not repeat past mistakes, stayed engaged, and acted to prevent a humanitarian disaster.
Earlier, welcoming the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan apprised him of the measures being taken to enhance communication with the community and improve its access to the services offered by the High Commission and its Consulates.
The high commissioner thanked the foreign minister for taking a personal interest in having the matter of removal of Pakistan from the Red List resolved satisfactorily. He also recounted that pursuant to the Foreign Minister’s emphasis on economic diplomacy, the Mission had been making concerted efforts to increase and diversify exports, enhance remittances and encourage FDI. This had resulted in a substantial and unprecedented increase in exports and remittances, and an improvement in FDI.
During his visit, the foreign minister is expected to hold in-depth discussions with the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on the entire gamut of bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. He is also expected to meet key British parliamentarians.