Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
"I will not go to the council of foreign ministers," Qureshi told parliament, adding that lower-ranking officials would attend to represent Pakistan's interests.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said that he would not be attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Abu Dhabi as his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj had been invited to the same event.
"I will not go to the council of foreign ministers," Qureshi was quoted as saying in the parliament, adding that lower-ranking officials would attend to represent Pakistan's interests.
Indian pilot release
Qureshi said downed Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman will be handed over to Indian authorities later on Friday in an effort to de-escalate a crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
"As a gesture of peace and to de-escalate matters, the Indian pilot who is under arrest with us will be released today in the afternoon at the Wagah border," Qureshi told parliament, referring to the border crossing near Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.
UN, Russia mediation
Qureshi also appealed to United Nations General Secretary António Guterres and Russia to play a mediation role to de-escalate tensions in South Asia, news agency ANI reported.
Qureshi is comment comes amid growing tension between India and Pakistan following Pulwama terror attack and subsequent military intervention from both the sides.