China backs Pakistan’s UN push over Kashmir
August 11 2019 01:47 AM

Reuters/Internews Karachi/Islamabad/Lahore

Pakistan says it will move the United Nations Security Council with China’s support with a motion to condemn India for its decision to strip its portion of the Kashmir region of special status.
“I have shared with China that the Pakistan government has decided to take this issue to UN Security Council. We will be needing China’s help there,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a press conference yesterday. “China has assured full support to Pakistan.”
Qureshi said he planned to approach Indonesia and Poland, both non-permanent members of the 15-strong Security Council, for their support.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, while speaking with Qureshi in Beijing yesterday, said that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left from the colonial history and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement.
Wang said his country will continue to support Pakistan in safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests and uphold justice for Pakistan on the international arena.
He said China believes that unilateral actions that will complicate the situation should not be taken.
The Chinese minister stressed that as all-weather strategic co-operative partners, China and Pakistan have understood and supported each other on issues concerning our respective core interests.
Wang Yi called on both Pakistan and India to proceed from their national development and peace in South Asia, properly resolve historical grievances, get rid of the zero-sum mindset, avoid unilateral action and seek a new path to peaceful co-existence.
The Chinese minister also agreed that Indian steps could jeopardise peace and stability in the region.
Meanwhile, Pakistan said yesterday that it had cancelled a bus linking Lahore with India’s capital New Delhi, the last remaining public transport link between the neighbours.
Pakistan has already severed two rail links, suspended bilateral trade relations, and expelled India’s ambassador, all part of what it called a diplomatic effort to protest against the Kashmir decision.
Arshad Ali, tourism officer at Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation that runs the Pakistan leg of the journey, told Reuters that the government had issued directives that meant the bus, that departs Lahore six days a week at 0600 local time, was suspended.
“The operation will remain suspended till further decision,” he said.
Delhi Transport Corporation, that runs the service in the other direction, did not respond to requests for comment.
The service, known as the “friendship bus”, has long been seen as a symbolic link between the two countries.
Launched in 1999, it has run almost continuously since, including throughout the last crisis between the two countries in February.
Travellers wanting to cross the border can still do so on foot at the sole remaining open border post at Wagah, a process that often takes several hours due to stringent security checks by both sides.
Fewer than 200 people a day now cross the border in the two directions, Indian and Pakistani officials at Wagah told Reuters.
One official said it was unlikely the border would be closed despite the deterioration in relationships between the rivals.
With no direct flights, the only other alternatives are costly and lengthy indirect routes, often via the Middle East.

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