Islamabad on Saturday asked New Delhi to shun blame game and pay heed to voices coming from within India against ruling party’s oppressive policies in Indian-held Kashmir. “You can throw the blame at us … accusing Pakistan takes a minute only. However, the voices coming from within India should also be heard, such as that of former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, who has said that placing blame on Pakistan is the ‘easy route’ and that Indian authorities should examine their own policies in the occupied valley,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told media in Munich after the conclusion of an international security conference. Highlighting Indian atrocities in the occupied valley, the minister specifically mentioned the rampant human rights violations and near-daily funerals in the region. “Is a reaction to that not expected?” he asked, adding that reaction to rape of local women and use of pellet guns against innocent people had to be expected at some point. The foreign minister’s statement coincided with Pakistan continuing its diplomatic offensive for the second day on Saturday to counter Indian attempts to link Islamabad with Thursday’s Pulwama attack. A day after reaching out to five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – US, China, Russia, Britain and France – Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua Saturday invited ambassadors from the European Union to brief them about the baseless Indian propaganda against Pakistan. During the meeting, Janjua categorically rejected Indian government’s remarks of Pakistan’s involvement in the attack. The foreign secretary pointed towards known tactics of India to divert global attention from gross human rights violations in the occupied valley. She also emphasized on the importance of implementing the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir. In his remarks to media, Foreign Minister Qureshi also asserted that violence is not the policy of the government of Pakistan. “Violence is not a strategy nor is it our government’s policy,” he said. Condemning the bombing the minister said he was ‘a little sad’ that without investigating the incident, India has instantly levelled allegations against Pakistan in a ‘knee-jerk reaction’. Qureshi said he has spoken to various foreign ministers, including that if Russia in Moscow, and told them that he has been fearful that there will be some ‘misadventure’ for political purposes prior to the election in India. He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has two options now. “One is to act like a typical politician and stage his reactions and policy while keeping an eye on the next election. Alternatively, he has the option of being a statesman who thinks about his region, his country’s poverty, the betterment of his country, as well as regional betterment,” he said, adding that it remains to be seen which direction Modi chooses. The foreign minister said that instead of hurling accusations at Pakistan, India must share any ‘actionable evidence’ against the country. “Share it with us … we will investigate it with integrity and see what the reality is,” he said, and reiterated that Pakistan wants peace. “Our message is of peace, not war.” Published in Daily Times, February 17th 2019.