(Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s foreign minister wrote to the United Nations, while its army pledged to go to “any extent’’ against India’s move to revoke the autonomous status of Kashmir, that’s claimed in full by the two South Asian nations.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote a letter to the secretary general of the United Nations informing him about the “critical situation” in Kashmir, according to a tweet by Pakistan government on Tuesday. Pakistan’s army in a separate tweet said it “stands by the Kashmiris in their struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfill our obligations.”
India has accused Pakistan of using militant groups including Jamaat-ud-Dawa led by Hafiz Saeed, the suspected planner of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, of waging a proxy war in Kashmir. Islamabad denies the charges. A global anti-money laundering agency known as the Financial Action Task Force has placed Pakistan in a grey monitoring list following a push by the U.S. and European allies to get Pakistan to do more to combat militancy.
Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, a professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at the Quaid-i-Azam University, said Pakistan cannot ignore the global pressure to end its alleged support for militancy.
“There is no need to create a proxy” and use militant organizations, he said from Islamabad. Pakistan should “go through the diplomatic and political channels and observe maximum restraint” on Kashmir.
The army supports the government’s rejection of the Indian move and it won’t recognize the “sham” Indian efforts to revoke the autonomous status of the state, spokesman General Asif Ghafoor said in a Twitter message after a meeting of top army commanders. The nation’s Parliament is meeting on Tuesday to debate the Indian move.
While Qureshi is leading a Pakistani delegation to attend a meeting of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, in Jeddah to discuss the Indian move in Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to top leaders of Turkey and Malaysia a day earlier telling them that New Delhi’s move would “undermine” relations between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to revoke seven decades of autonomy to Kashmir has raised tensions with Pakistan as the south Asian neighbors have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over the disputed territory. The last conflict happened in February when Pakistan shot down an Indian fighter jet in a dogfight over Kashmir and took its pilot as prisoner. He was later released.
(Updates to add military’s comments in second paragraph.)
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