Kashmir issue in ‘deadlock’
China could mediate, but India may not listen: experts
A top Chinese diplomat met the Pakistani foreign minister on Saturday in Islamabad and exchanged views on Kashmir, but Chinese experts said the situation in the region may be a deadlock as both sides hesitate to take further steps.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated China’s position on the issue, saying China attaches great importance to Pakistan’s legitimate and reasonable concerns, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.
China will continue to firmly support Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Wang said.
During their meeting, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi elaborated Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.
On the same day, Pakistan denied the Indian president’s request to use Pakistani airspace for a visit to Europe.
The world is looking closely at Kashmir with some expecting Wang’s visit to mediate between the two sides, analysts said.
In early August, Wang said that China opposes any unilateral action that complicates the regional situation in a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China could act as a mediator on the issue, but the key problem now was that India is turning a deaf ear to others’ dissuasion, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The situation in Kashmir has been deteriorating since August 5 when India unilaterally scrapped the special status of India-controlled Kashmir.
India’s move violated a 1972 agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the UN Charter, Hu said.
Hu warned that India itself will reap the consequences if it continues to take its own course and push Pakistan to retaliate, the worst situation of which is to use nuclear weapons.
However, Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow at the Shanghai institutes for international studies, said that there was a limit to what third parties could do to mediate.
“The situation in Kashmir will probably reach a deadlock as the two sides are both hesitating to take further steps,” Zhao said.
Wang Yi was in Islamabad for the third China-afghanistan-pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, which tackled regional peace and stability when the situation in South Asia is going through profound and complicated changes, Xinhua reported.
The three sides reached an agreement to implement a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on counterterrorism they signed at the end of 2018. They will make a program list to implement the MOU.
With the complicated regional situation that is in fast change, Afghanistan and Pakistan are willing to join hands with China in combating terrorism, maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting regional development and prosperity, Xinhua reported.
The three sides also agreed to hold further dialogue in China in 2020, reports said.