Pakistan Prime Minister welcomes UN’s move to discuss Kashmir

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday welcomed the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) decision to discuss tensions in the disputed region of Kashmir, a day after India slammed the rare meeting.

Tensions have soared since India earlier this month stripped the part of Kashmir that it controls of its autonomy, sparking calls from Pakistan for the international community to intervene on the decades-old issue.

“I welcome the UNSC meeting to discuss the serious situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Khan tweeted after Friday’s talks in New York, the first to focus on the Himalayan region since 1971.

“Addressing the suffering of the Kashmiri people and ensuring resolution of the dispute is the responsibility of this world body,” he said.

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” in the wake of the United Nations (UN) meeting, he told a press conference yesterday alongside military spokesman Asif Ghafoor.

India has always insisted the Kashmir issue can only be resolved bilaterally with Pakistan and New Delhi’s ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, expressed annoyance over the council talks on Friday.

United States (US) President Donald Trump, who spoke to Khan on Friday, has urged India and Pakistan to return to the negotiating table.