Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has asked the people of the nation “not to live in a fool’s paradise” expecting the UN to “wait with garlands” to support Islamabad’s stance regarding the decision of the Indian government to abrogate Article 370, that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
“They (UN) are not waiting for you with garlands in their hands. Any of the P-5 members of the Security Council can pose as a hurdle,” Qureshi said while addressing a press conference in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s (PoK) capital Muzaffarabad, where he arrived late Sunday to spend the first day of Eid-ul-Adha “in solidarity with the Kashmiris”.
Qureshi’s comments came after Russia, one of the P-5 members besides China, France, the UK, and the US, backed India’s move, saying that the changes were within the framework of the Indian Constitution, even as it urged the two neighbours to maintain peace.
“We proceed from fact that the changes associated with the change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its division into two union territories are carried out within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said in a statement.
“We hope that the differences between them will be resolved by political and diplomatic means on a bilateral basis in accordance with the provisions of the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999,” the Foreign Office further said.
The United States also had earlier on Friday said that there is no change in its policy on Kashmir and called on India and Pakistan to maintain calm and restraint.
The US policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is up to the two countries to decide on the pace and scope of the talks on the issue.
Pakistan has been upping the ante against India ever since New Delhi on August 5 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh, in order to bring in faster development and security to the state.
Islamabad on Wednesday decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India over the Kashmir move. It expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspended trade with India.
The decision was taken at a meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) – the second within a week – presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the situation following the Indian government’s move on Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Muzaffarabad on Wednesday on the occasion of Pakistan’s Independence Day, where he will address “Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly to express solidarity with Kashmiris”.
Islamabad is also observing August 15, the day India celebrates its Independence Day, as “black day” and will fly the Pakistani flags half-mast in residential areas and government buildings across the country.