Beijing, Nov 17: China urged India and Pakistan to resolve their dispute over Kashmir “properly and peacefully.”
“China’s position on the Kashmir issue is consistent and clear. It is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan which should be resolved properly and peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements,” said Zhao Lijian, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, addressing a news conference in Beijing, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
He was responding to a question over escalations between Indian and Pakistani troops along the dividing Line of Control last week which resulted in the deaths of at least 15 people, including soldiers on the two sides.
Terming India and Pakistan “important countries” in South Asia, Zhao said: “Harmonious co-existence between the two sides is vital to regional peace, stability and development. As a neighbor of both countries, China calls on the two sides to exercise restraint, resolve differences through dialogue, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.”
On Pakistan’s “irrefutable evidence” of alleged Indian “state-sponsored terrorism” in Pakistan, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said: “China opposes all forms of terrorism and calls on the international community, regional countries in particular, to carry out counter-terrorism cooperation and safeguard collective security.”
Pakistan has accused India of running a network of “terror cells and camps in Afghanistan and on Indian soil” to foment trouble inside Pakistan.
In a joint presser last Saturday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and military Spokesman Gen. Iftikhar Babar played footage and audio of alleged Indian handlers of suspected terrorists. The duo also claimed to have found “cell phone numbers of bank transactions for the sabotage.”
A day later, Qureshi accused India of “conspiring to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project by creating unrest in the country.” The CPEC is a flagship project of China’s mammoth Belt and Road Initiate (BRI).
“Pakistan had solid proof that India was trying to create a law and order situation in the country,” he alleged, adding India had spent billions of rupees for the purpose. India has denied the allegations.
However, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said “CPEC, as a major pioneering project of the BRI, is important not only to the common development of China and Pakistan, but also to regional connectivity and common prosperity.”
“We are confident that with the support of the international community, China and Pakistan will ensure the smooth and successful building and running of CPEC. We also believe that Pakistan will continue to take effective measures to ensure CPEC’s security,” Zhao added.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS