Kashmir crisis: China says has got Pakistan’s back

BEIJING: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. INP PHOTO

–Qureshi says Beijing will support Pakistan’s stance at UNSC, safeguard its ‘legitimate rights and interests’ 

–Chinese FM says Kashmir dispute must be properly resolved ‘based on UN Charter, relevant UNSC resolutions and bilateral agreement’


BEIJING: China will support Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir at the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) and will keep on supporting Pakistan in “safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests”, said a statement issued after a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

In a statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang noted that China is “seriously concerned about the latest escalation of tensions in Kashmir”, adding that unilateral actions “will complicate the situation”.

China recognises that the Kashmir dispute must be properly resolved “based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement”, said the statement.

The statement was followed by a video message by FM Qureshi, wherein he said that the northern neighbour has supported Pakistan’s decision to go to the UNSC.

“China would maintain full cooperation with Pakistan and both sides would stay in close contact,” he said, adding that Beijing had, once again, proved today that it was Islamabad’s trustworthy friend.

In a comment on the meeting, he said Chinese FM Wang, despite his busy schedule, held meeting with him on such short notice on President Xi Jinping’s instruction because of the “nature of the relationship between Pakistan and China is different and the response level should also be different”.

“I am happy to share that I presented Pakistan’s point of view and its concerns surrounding India’s recent measures on occupied Kashmir,” said Qureshi in the video statement.

He went on to say that China agreed with Pakistan that India’s actions are unilateral and that with the change in the status of occupied Kashmir the region’s stability and peace are in danger.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Qureshi reached Beijing to discuss India’s “unconstitutional” move to rid occupied Kashmir of its special status by scrapping Article 370 and 35-A and the evolving security situation in the region with his Chinese counterpart.

He was received by Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi on his arrival at the Beijing airport.

He was then taken to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse where he was warmly received by FM Yi and discussions between the two began.

Before leaving for Beijing, Qureshi said he will apprise Islamabad’s “trusted friend” about the situation after New Delhi downgraded its portion of Kashmir from statehood to a territory, limited its decision-making power and eliminated its right to its own constitution.

The foreign minister’s visit came in the wake of heightened tensions with India after it unilaterally scrapped Kashmir special status amid a severe clampdown in the held region along with deployment of additional force.

It had also imposed a curfew in the region, which now has entered the fifth day, after ordering the pilgrims and tourists to leave the region.

India this week revoked Article 370, which gave occupied Kashmir an autonomous status and legislated to bifurcate the region into Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

In response to New Delhi’s move to annex occupied Kashmir, Pakistan on Wednesday resolved to downgrade diplomatic relations with India and suspend all bilateral trade.

India, however, has termed it an “internal matter” and asked Pakistan to review its decision. Meanwhile, a communications blackout and security clampdown imposed late Sunday in occupied Kashmir entered its fifth day on Friday. By Thursday, Indian security forces had arrested more than 500 people in the region.