Indian army chief's 'secularism' remarks meaningless: FM Qureshi

02:59 PM | 1 Dec, 2018
Indian army chief's 'secularism' remarks meaningless: FM Qureshi
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MULTAN - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi termed the statement of Indian Army Chief, Bipin Rawat about the promotion of secularism in Pakistan for dialogue, meaningless saying, it will not change Pakistan’s ideology.

Speaking to newsmen in Multan on Saturday, the minister highlighted that Pakistan was an Islamic state and came into being because of an ideology.

"Pakistan desires for peace on its eastern and western borders and better relations with its neighbours," Qureshi reiterated.

He expressed that the opening of Kartarpur corridor was hailed globally with people on both sides of the border agreeing to it and India sending two of its ministers.

"It was our wish that the foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and the governor of Punjab also attend the groundbreaking but this was a good first step and we should take it in a positive way,” he added.

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The foreign minister continued that it was the desire of Prime Minister Imran Khan and government that there should be peace and stability in the region as it would bring investment to curtail unemployment.

The remarks came a day after Indian military chief said, “Pakistan has made its state an Islamic state. If they have to stay together with India, then they have to develop as a secular state.”

South Punjab

On the subject of a separate South Punjab province, the foreign minister said that a separate South Punjab province was part of PTI's manifesto and 'we are working towards finalising it'.

He continued that there were some legal hindrances and the government was lacking numbers for constitutional amendments.

“We will make a secretariat and will employ senior officers who will make sure that problems are solved closer to home rather than Lahore,” Qureshi observed.

Dollar Surge

When the lawmaker was asked about the rise in the price of the dollar, he replied that multiple reasons were behind the surge.

"We have to see how we can increase our exports. When there is an increase in exports there will be an increase in foreign exchange," he added.