Published: Thu, September 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Top Saudi, UAE diplomats arrive in Pakistan to discuss Kashmir

Top Saudi, UAE diplomats arrive in Pakistan to discuss Kashmir

The visit also reveals the profound strategic Saudi-UAE understanding on all regional issues, which both countries seek to solve, whether in Yemen, Sudan, or the Horn of Africa, in addition to their efforts to confront the regional threats of Iran and other terrorist militias.

Delhi's actions have escalated tension with Pakistan, which also claims Kashmir, and which has suggested that India could carry out ethnic cleansing in the region.

The two diplomats held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The UAE's move to bestow its highest civilian award to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi nearly coinciding New Delhi's clampdown in Kashmir fueled anger in Islamabad.

New Delhi also has since imposed curfew-like restrictions in Kashmir, deployed tens of thousands of additional troops there, cut off all communication and arrested thousands of people, including mainstream Kashmiri politicians and activists. Mobile and internet connections have been off for 31 days.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir were met by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at Nur Khan Air Base Rawalpindi for their one-day trip to Islamabad.

"The worldwide community has the responsibility to urge India to halt and reverse its illegal actions and aggressive policies and postures", Khan's office said in a statement, adding that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had "an important role in this regard".

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The development came amid concerns that key Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia and UAE have so far given a muted reaction to India's illegal annexation of disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.

Touching upon the action of August 5, the AJK president said that it was a systematic attack by India against Pakistan and the Kashmiri people which was created to end the Kashmir issue by force and to silence the voice of Kashmiri people once and for all.

PM Imran further underscored that India's actions were a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and worldwide law.

The two nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars - two of them over control of the region - since they won independence from the British in 1947.

India flooded the Kashmir valley with troops, restricted movements and cut off communication as Prime Minister Narendra Modi withdrew special rights for Kashmir on August 5.

India has battled separatist militants in its part of Kashmir since the late 1980s, accusing Muslim Pakistan of supporting the insurgents.

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said a draft agreement was close to being reached, following the meeting in the Indian town of Wagah-Attari. Major General Ghafoor said no Indian step which negates Kashmiris' right to self- determination would be acceptable to Pakistan.

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