UN chief concerned over restrictions in Kashmir

KSA, UAE, Malaysia worried over developments in IoK

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ABU DHABI/ WASHINGTON/ JEDDAH/ NEW YORK: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is concerned about restrictions in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir, his spokesman said Thursday. Stephane Dujarric said the UN chief calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir, stressing that the UN›s position on the region is governed by its charter and successive Security Council resolutions.
The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint, Dujarric said in a statement. Led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government in a shocking move Aug. 5 scrapped Article 370, which granted the region significant levels of autonomy.
The Security Council has passed several resolutions which call for the Muslim-majority region›s right to self-determination to decide its political future. Kashmir has been disputed by India, Pakistan and China since 1947. Jammu and Kashmir, a Himalayan region that is part of the wider Kashmir region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Meanwhile, the UAE has said that it is monitoring with concern the developments in Jammu and Kashmir, and is calling for all parties in the conflict to exercise restraint. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation today, Dr Anwar Bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, stressed the need to use dialogue for maintaining peace, security and stability in the region. He also expressed the UAE›s confidence in the wisdom of the leaderships of both India and Pakistan and their ability to «overcome this crisis through communication and constructive dialogue, away from escalation and confrontation.
Saudi Arabia called on the concerned parties in Jammu and Kashmir to maintain peace and stability in the region and to take into account the interests of the people of the region. An official source at the Foreign Ministry said that Saudi Arabia is following up the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir, resulting from India›s move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which guarantees autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The source expressed Saudi Arabia’s concern over the latest developments and called for peaceful settlement of the conflict in accordance with the relevant international resolutions.
Malaysia has voiced concern over the recent developments in Occupied Kashmir, in particular the repeated escalation of tension in the region. A press statement issued by Prime Minister›s Office in Putrajaya on Thursday said Malaysia would like to encourage all stakeholders to abide by the relevant UNSC resolutions on Occupied Kashmir towards the maintenance of international peace and security.
Malaysia said it always believes that dialogues and consultations are the best route to a peaceful and amicable solution over this long standing issue. It expressed hope that Pakistan and India will exercise utmost restraint to prevent further escalation that could be detrimental to the peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Meanwhile, India’s move to revoke special status of the occupied Kashmir threatens to complicate US efforts to forge a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, says The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The newspaper also said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “successful” visit to Washington, during which President Donald Trump offered to mediate the decades-old dispute, might have factored in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Kashmir move.

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