Shah Mehmood Qureshi rejected suggestions that messages for talks have been sent from across the border

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters on Friday that he does not see an atmosphere for talks with India at this stage, citing what he called a ‘human lockdown’ in Kashmir.

“In my honest opinion, I do not see an atmosphere for talks,” he said at the foreign office in Islamabad.

Qureshi rejected suggestions that messages for talks have been sent from across the border.

“There are some quarters who have been saying that talks should take place, but I do not think this the time, or the atmosphere is right for this, as the situation in Indian held Kashmir is very bad.”

“There are restrictions on movement of people and there are human rights abuses taking place. There is a communication blackout. How can we have talks in such an atmosphere?”

He said that India needs to rethink its decision of removing the special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

“Only then can we have talks,” he said adding that the Indian action has been rejected both by Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. “India’s stance on Kashmir has suffered because of its actions.”

He told reporters that when Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office, he had proposed talks but these were rejected by India.

“Now given the situation in Kashmir, we cannot give talks priority.” India, he said, has to review its one-sided decisions.

He also said India’s plans to “push Pakistan into the blacklist” of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will fail because of the steps the country had taken to meet the requirements of the global watchdog on money laundering and terrorist financing.

His comments came as a plenary meeting of FATF on Friday voted to keep Pakistan in its ‘grey list’ of countries whose controls over terrorism financing are deemed inadequate.

“I can say this with confidence, India will fail in its designs to push Pakistan into the blacklist,” Qureshi said, adding that the world had “acknowledged” that the government and parliament had taken “concrete steps” regarding the FATF’s action plan.

Of the 27 points on which the FATF had asked Pakistan to take action, “I can say with conviction we have implemented 21,” the minister said. He added that progress had also been made on the remaining six points.