EXPRESSING “CONCERN”, Saudi Arabia on Thursday called for a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir issue, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions. Malaysia also underlined the need to respect the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions related to J&K. Follow Jammu and Kashmir LIVE updates
In their measured response, these two countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) did not take sides. Earlier, two other OIC countries — UAE and Maldives — backed India, saying that its decision on J&K was an “internal issue”.
Explained | UNSC Resolution 47 on Kashmir
“While expressing its concern over the latest developments, the Kingdom affirms that the settlement of the conflict is through peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, and calls on the parties concerned to maintain peace and stability in the region and to take into account the interests of the people of the region,” said the Saudi statement.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad expressed hope that India and Pakistan would exercise “utmost restraint” to prevent further escalation. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday briefed Mahathir on the situation.
Meanwhile, two powerful Democratic lawmakers in the US asked Pakistan to refrain from any “retaliatory aggression” against India and to take “demonstrable action” against terrorist groups within its territory.
Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Eliot Engel, in a joint statement, also expressed concern over the restrictions in J&K. Menendez is a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while Engel is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Pakistan must refrain from any retaliatory aggression, including support for infiltrations across the Line of Control, and take demonstrable action against the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan’s soil,” they said.
As global reactions pour in, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation appears divided on India’s move on revoking special status to J&K. While the UAE and Maldives had supported India, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have expressed concern and made nuanced remarks. The US, the UK and the EU have also maintained a more neutral stance, even as the UN slammed the change of status and restrictions imposed in Kashmir. Overall, it’s been a mixed bag for New Delhi so far.
Expressing concern over the detentions and restrictions in J&K, they said that “India has an opportunity to demonstrate for all its citizens the importance of protecting and promoting equal rights, including freedom of assembly, access to information, and equal protection under the law…”
A PTI report quoted a US State Department spokesperson as saying that Washington was “closely following” the issue, and noted “the broader implications of these developments, including the potential for increased instability in the region”. “
The European Union asked India and Pakistan to re-open dialogue through diplomatic channels. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, also reiterated the EU’s stance of backing a bilateral solution between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
“The European Union supports a bilateral political solution between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, which remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that causes instability and insecurity in the region,” the EU said in a statement.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his country hopes that the Indian government’s “new measures” will lead to the betterment of people in J&K, and asked Pakistan to stop using extremist violence as an instrument of policy in the region.
UN concerned over ‘restrictions’
New Delhi: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday expressed concern over reports of “restrictions” in Kashmir, “which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region”.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” a spokesperson said, in a statement.
“The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla 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 statement said.