Khan Welcomes UN Security Council Discussions On Kashmir
By RFE/RL August 17, 2019
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 17 welcomed the UN Security Council's decision to discuss tensions in the disputed region of Kashmir.
The council took no action during the closed meeting on August 16, which was called by China and Pakistan.
The situation in the region deteriorated after New Delhi ruled earlier this month to end the decades-old autonomy in the Muslim-majority part of Kashmir it controls, triggering a communications blackout amid harsh restrictions.
"I welcome the UNSC meeting to discuss the serious situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir," Khan tweeted after the talks in New York.
"Addressing the suffering of the Kashmiri people & ensuring resolution of the dispute is the responsibility of this world body," he added on Twitter.
New Delhi's ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, expressed annoyance over the council talks on August 16.
"We don't need international busybodies to try to tell us how to run our lives. We are a billion-plus people," he said after the talks.
India deployed 10,000 additional troops -- joining the half a million already in the Indian-controlled territory -- fearing a potentially violent response to its move to end Kashmir's autonomous status.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan was establishing Kashmir desks in foreign capitals to "lobby for Kashmiris and their right to self-determination."
The country's armed forces would be ready to give a "telling response" to any act of "misadventure" by India in the wake of the UN meeting, he told a press conference on August 17.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who spoke to Khan on August 16, "conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions" over the disputed territories, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they gained independence from Britain in 1947.
Two of the three wars between the two nuclear-armed neighbors were fought over the territory.
With reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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