Pakistan blames India for 'instability' in region, calls for reassessment of SAARC's role

Pakistan insisted that despite provocations by India, it was committed to find lasting peace in the region, in accordance with the United Nations resolutions. Photograph:( Others )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 18, 2016, 06.47 PM (IST) Umaima Rasheed Hussain

During its visit to Maldives, a Pakistani delegation carried what seems to be a targeted "campaign" against India. Pakistan senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, in his meeting with the President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Monday stressed that Pakistan was committed to ensuring peace and stability in the South Asian region. 

"Pakistan is a peace-loving country and desires peace in the region for stability, well-being and alleviation of poverty in the region," he said at the meeting, accompanied by the Pakistani delegation which included senator Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa, senator Najmul Hassan and Pakistan’s ambassador in the Maldives.

He blamed India of "fostering unrest" and "continuing to sponsor state terrorism in Pakistan" and said that despite such provocations Pakistan looks for lasting peace in the region, in accordance with the United Nations resolutions. 

Rabbani told the Maldives president that recently a serving Indian naval commander Kulbhushan Yadav was arrested in Pakistan. "This along with other steps being taken by India clearly show its expansion designs in the region." 

It comes at a time when the regional South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, that was scheduled to be held in Pakistan in November, had been cancelled over the ongoing tensions between the two regional powers, India and Pakistan. 

The senate chair told the Maldives president that Pakistan respected their decision to leave the Commonwealth, but stressed on the need to continue constructive engagements. 

Rabbani, in his meeting with the speaker of People’s Majlis (Parliament of the Maldives),  Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, on Sunday accused India of using the SAARC platform to further its political agenda against Pakistan.

Pakistan called upon other SAARC countries to reassess the group's role, particularly, keeping "India's attitude" in mind. Rabbani said, "any one country should not be permitted to monopolise the forum." According to the Senate statement, he further emphasised that it would be appropriate for SAARC member states to censor such a move in the future. 

Rabbani also highlighted the gross violation of human rights and international laws by India in Jammu and Kashmir, in both his meetings with the Maldivian President as well as the speaker of the People’s Majlis. 

"He further brought to the notice of the speaker the use of pellet bullets and the loss of eyesight of innocent children. He stated that over 90 days have passed and the valley continued to be under curfew, innocent men, women and children have lost their lives. When all they are demanding is the implementation of the UN resolutions granting them the right of self-determination," the statement by the senate of Pakistan said. 

Maldives, which claims to have an 'India first foreign policy', refrained from including Pakistan's observations in any official statement by its authourities. Both the President's office and the People's Majlis, only stated the discussions to strengthen bilateral ties between Maldives and Pakistan.