Bri­tain urges set­tle­ment of cri­sis in Kash­mir

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

IS­LAM­ABAD (AP): RI­TAIN’S TOP diplo­mat yes­ter­day urged Pak­istan and In­dia to find a last­ing solution for Kash­mir a day af­ter a deadly ex­change of fire killed more than a dozen peo­ple in the dis­puted Hi­malayan re­gion.

But af­ter meet­ing with Pak­istani of­fi­cials, For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris Johnson told re­porters in Is­lam­abad that it was up to the two South Asian coun­tries to re­solve the cri­sis and that Bri­tain should not “pre­scribe a solution or act as a me­di­a­tor”.

In­dia mean­while sum­moned a Pak­istani diplo­mat to lodge a protest over what it said were con­tin­ued vi­o­la­tions of a 2003 cease­fire. In­dian For­eign Min­istry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Pak­istani troops had helped “ter­ror­ists” in­fil­trate Kash­mir, where they killed three In­dian soldiers and mu­ti­lated one of their bod­ies, which was found Tues­day.

In­dia had vowed to re­tal­i­ate af­ter the body was found, and on Wed­nes­day the two sides blasted away at each other across the Line of Con­trol, the lat­est in a se­ries of vi­o­lent ex­changes in re­cent weeks.

BBri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris Johnson (left) ad­dresses a news con­fer­ence with Pak­istan’s ad­viser on for­eign af­fairs Sar­taj Aziz in Is­lam­abad, Pak­istan, yes­ter­day.

In­dian fire struck a bus on the Pak­istani side, killing at least 10 peo­ple. An­other two Pak­istani civil­ians and three Pak­istani soldiers were also killed. There was no im­me­di­ate word of In­dian ca­su­al­ties.

The nuclear-armed ri­vals each claim Kash­mir in its en­tirety and have fought two of their three wars over the dis­pute.

Pak­istani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif held a high-level

se­cu­rity meet­ing to re­view the Kash­mir sit­u­a­tion on Thurs­day and said “we will never aban­don our Kash­miri brethren in their free­dom strug­gle,” ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment state­ment.

Pak­istan’s air force chief So­hail Aman mean­while warned In­dia against es­ca­lat­ing the dis­pute over Kash­mir into fullscale war, say­ing that Pak­istani troops “know full well how to deal with them”.

AP

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