Even as China snubbed Pakistan calling the Kashmir issue as bilateral and urging both nations to resolve their disputes through dialogue, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that it supported Pakistan's step to approach UN Security Council. The claim comes after United Nations chief Antonio Guterres cited Shimla pact stating it is a bilateral issue.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that China fully supported Pakistan in approaching the UN Security Council after India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Qureshi who visited China on Friday and met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and other top officials in Beijing, addressed a news conference and claimed the above.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad after returning from China, Qureshi said, "I shared with China that we intend on taking this matter to the United Nations Security Council. I want to tell the nation that they have assured us of their complete support. China has directed its representative in New York to keep close liaison with Pakistani diplomats on the issue," he said, adding that China and Pakistan have also nominated their focal persons at Director General level for the purpose.
He said China wants the resolution of the issue according to the UN Resolutions. "China has clear position that India has taken unilateral step in Jammu and Kashmir which are illegal and against the norms of international law," Qureshi said.
Qureshi said that Pakistan was also thinking of other options. "We are considering other options as well we hope there's no bloodshed, but we see things moving towards further escalation in tension," he added. The minister said the Pakistan government does not want to consider "military options". "We reserve the right to defend our motherland in event of any misadventure, he said.
"From their side, they would like to project a panic situation, the international community does not think there is a war-like situation. It is a ploy to deflect attention...It is time for Pakistan to see the new reality and stop interfering in the internal matters of India," it said. Separately, the Foreign Office said that China expressed serious concern over India's unilateral actions in Kashmir. The foreign ministers of Pakistan and China agreed that both sides would closely coordinate and consult each other on the evolving developments, it said.
Qureshi's visit came ahead of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's three-day trip here starting from August 11 during which he is scheduled to hold wide-ranging talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
China on Friday called on India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiation as Pakistan Foreign Minister arrived in Beijing to seek the support after New Delhi revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Reacting questions about Pakistan's decision, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, "China has noted the relevant statement by Pakistan". "We call on Pakistan and India to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and jointly uphold regional peace and stability. The pressing priority is that the relevant party should stop unilaterally changing the status quo and avoid escalation of tension," it said in a written response circulated to the media in Beijing.
Amid the weakening relation between India and Pakistan after India scrapped Articke 370 providing special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday urged India and Pakistan to exercise "maximum restraint". He also urged the two neighbouring countries to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir while highlighting the Shimla Agreement which rejects any third-party mediation on the issue.
On Monday, India not only revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Pakistan termed the Indian action as "unilateral and illegal", and said it will take the matter to the UN Security Council, claiming that Kashmir is an international issue.
"The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint," Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Dujarric specifically said that the Secretary-General " recalled the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Shimla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means" in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. The Secretary General did not offer his good offices nor did he make any offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
(inputs from PTI)