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UAE-India ties above religious sentiments: Qureshi
Islamabad, Aug 26 (IANS) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or any other country has the right to maintain bilateral relations with countries of their choice, the media reported on Monday.
"International relations are above religious sentiments. The UAE and India have a history of relations in connection with investment. However, I will soon have a meeting with the UAE Foreign Minister to inform him about the prevailing situation in ‘India held Kashmir’," Qureshi said on Sunday while responding to media queries over UAE conferring its highest civilian award to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Right now Turkey, Malaysia and all Islamic countries are supporting the Pakistan’s stance. The Iranian leadership has also taken a firm stand in favour of Kashmiri people.
"So far I have contacted foreign ministers of several Islamic countries and getting in touch with remaining ones as well. I am hopeful the Muslim world will support the Kashmiris," Dawn news quoted the Minister as saying.
Qureshi’s remarks come a day after Modi was conferred the UAE’s highest civilian honour, the "Order of Zayed".
Modi was in the UAE as part of his three nation visit, including Bahrain where he also received the country’s top honour, the "King Hamad Order of the Renaissance".
Meanwhile, Pakistan Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has also cancelled his pre-scheduled trip to the UAE over Modi’s trip to the Gulf nation, adding that "it would hurt the feelings of the Kashmiri people", The Express Tribune reported.
Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan ever since New Delhi on August 5 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.