22 Sep 2017/Friday

China on Friday reiterated its stand that the Kashmir issue was for India and Pakistan to solve, declining to back its “all-weather ally”  which has been attempting to raise the dispute at several United Nations for  this past week.

After Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday asked the UN General Assembly to appoint a special envoy for Kashmir, Pakistan has also been raising the issue using the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) card, with the 57-member group’s contact group for Kashmir meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA on Thursday.

India last week had already slammed the OIC for its statements on the issue that were cited by Pakistan at a UN human rights congress in Geneva, with India’s Permanent Mission in Geneva pointing out it had “no locus stand on India’s internal affairs”. India had said it “strongly advises the OIC to refrain from making such references in the future”.

When asked about the OIC’s backing to Pakistan’s calls for UN involvement, China on Friday offered no support to Pakistan, instead reiterating its long-held stated position that the matter was for India and Pakistan to resolve.

“China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear-cut,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said. “The Kashmir issue is an issue leftover from history. China hopes India and Pakistan can increase dialogue and communication, and properly handle relevant issues and jointly safeguard peace and stability.”

While China is going ahead with investments in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir under its $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor plan, which India has opposed, Beijing has at the same time not been in favour of Pakistan’s attempts to internationalize the issue.

China has also rejected Pakistan’s calls in the past to raise Kashmir at the UN Security Council.

In May, China’s envoy to India Luo Zhaohui said Beijing had “no intention” of getting involved in disputes between India and Pakistan, and said, “China supports the solution of the disputes through bilateral negotiations between the two countries”. “Take Kashmir issue, for example, we supported the relevant UN resolutions before 1990s,” he said. “Then we supported a settlement through bilateral negotiation in line with the Shimla Agreement.”

In this case, China’s stance requires a special mention after Pakistan was snubbed by India by calling it as a Terroristan. The Afghanistani representative also took a dig in Pakistani PM after his speech. A day later Chinese representative took a very mature and moral standing expected of a learned country. However, one has to wait and see how Pakistani establishment reacts to these statements. Whether it changes its track as it is seen by many as getting increasingly isolated diplomatically and financially due to its open support to Islamic terror groups through its state agencies like Intelligence agency i.e. ISI and Defence forces like Pakistani Army and Pakistani Rangers.