Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan while congratulating his UK counterpart Boris Johnson on his appointment, raised the issue of Kashmir and the ongoing tension between neighbouring countries after India revoked the state’s special status.
In the conversation which took place on Wednesday, the two leaders discussed the serious situation in the region and mutually agreed on the importance of dialogue, as per Johnson’s Downing Street office, reported news agency PTI.
“The Prime Minister received a call from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan to congratulate him on his new role. The leaders discussed the serious situation in Kashmir and agreed on the importance of maintaining dialogue,” Downing Street said in a statement. It further added: “And they underlined their continued commitment to the bilateral relationship between the UK and Pakistan.”
The UK government on Wednesday had previously expressed “concerns” after India announced abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories-Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said he had spoken to his Indian counterpart External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and received clarity on India’s stand on the announcement earlier this week, which proposes that the state be bifurcated into two Union Territories.
“I’ve spoken to the Indian Foreign Minister twice since my appointment, and I spoke to him earlier today [Wednesday],” said Raab, who took charge at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recently under a Boris Johnson led British government.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has called on India and Pakistan to re-open dialogue through diplomatic channels in order to de-escalate tensions in Jammu and Kashmir. 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 continuing to back a “bilateral solution” between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
-with PTI inputs