International desk, August 15: China on Wednesday backed Pakistan’s request for the United Nations Security Council to discuss the Indian government’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, asking for the body to meet behind closed doors on Thursday or Friday, diplomats said.
However, France responded to the request by proposing that the council discuss the issue in a less formal manner – known as “any other business” – next week, diplomats said. It will be up to Poland, president of the council for August, to mediate an agreed time and format among the 15 members.
The Himalayan region has long been a flashpoint in ties between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
The August 5 decision by India blocks the right of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to frame its own laws and allows non-residents to buy property there. Telephone lines, internet and television networks have been blocked and there are restrictions on movement and assembly.
“Pakistan will not provoke a conflict. But India should not mistake our restraint for weakness,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote in a letter to the Security Council on Tuesday. “If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defense, with all its capabilities.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to refrain from any steps that could affect the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Guterres also said he was concerned about reports of restrictions on the Indian side of Kashmir.
Source: India Today