China hopes UN meeting will stimulate India-Pakistan talks on Kashmir

“I am sure that the meeting will be an aid for both parties to understand the risk of further escalation and encourage them to approach each other and have dialogue and find ways to find solutions through dialogue,” said Zhang.

The latest outbreak was triggered by the government’s decision led by the Indian nationalists of India to end the semi-autonomous status of Kashmir, a Muslim majority, on August 5. The measure was accompanied by strong repression, with New Delhi sending tens of thousands of additional troops to the already heavily militarized region, which imposes a radical curfew, arrests thousands and cuts virtually all communications.

Since then, the authorities have eased several restrictions, lifting obstacles and restoring fixed and cellular telephone services, but the Internet service has not yet been restored in the Kashmir valley. The Indian action sparked protests, and last Friday the country’s superior court ordered the government to review all restrictions within a week, saying the measures amounted to abuse of power.

Council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because Wednesday’s meeting was closed, said China wanted a review of the UN observation mission in Kashmir. But the overwhelming number of countries on the 15-member council urged the de-escalation and said the dispute is bilateral and must be resolved by India and Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters Wednesday night after meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that some measures taken by India after August 5 have caused tensions and They threaten international peace and security in South Asia. The situation is “very delicate and could get out of control,” he warned.

He said it is India, not Pakistan, who has rejected the talks.

“Pakistan has never shunned a bilateral commitment, but unfortunately the Indians are not prepared to compromise,” Qureshi said, noting that as soon as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power in August 2018, he made arrangements for India. which unfortunately were rejected.

The Pakistani minister said that the fact that the Security Council has discussed Kashmir for the second time in five months is a clear indication that the most powerful UN body recognizes that the issue is on its agenda, “and the impression of that India tries to give that this is an internal matter is not correct. “

Qureshi said Secretary General Gutteres was worried and knows that “the issue cannot be hidden under the carpet.” The spokesman for the UN chief said in a brief statement after the meeting that Guterres “reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia through political dialogue.” , diplomatic solutions and respect for human rights. “

Although members of the Security Council said Kashmir should be discussed and resolved bilaterally, Qureshi said that if the problem is allowed to get worse in the way it is getting worse, then it can become an unsustainable situation and will not have to to intervene. “

Kashmir became a problem at the end of British colonial rule in 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was divided into predominantly Hindu India and mainly in Muslim Pakistan, and its future remained unsolved. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars for control of Kashmir, which had been a Muslim-majority kingdom ruled by a Hindu Maharaja.

The first war ended in 1948 with a ceasefire negotiated by the UN that left Kashmir divided, with the promise of a UN-sponsored referendum on its “final disposition” that has never been held.

The UN sent military observers to monitor the ceasefire in January 1949 and, after renewed hostilities in 1971, the UN mission has remained in the area to observe the events and inform the Secretary General, not the Security Council as do other peacekeeping missions.

The Security Council held its first closed consultations on Kashmir since 1971 after the surprise action of India in August to change the state of the Himalayan region.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for the independence of Kashmir from India or its merger with Pakistan. Pakistan denies the charge and says it only offers diplomatic and moral support to the rebels.

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