Pakistan, India exchange cross-border fire after UN meet on Kashmir

Cheryl Sanders
August 18, 2019

Warning of the possibility of an unintended war, the army spokesman said that "Kashmir issue is nuclear flashpoint". "If talks begin, it would now only be on the PoK and no other issue", he said. The United States is a traditional backer of India and China of Pakistan, while many council members have close relations with both countries.

Pakistan is lobbying to gain worldwide support against India's Kashmir measures and was hoping for a formal UNSC meeting on the issue. Tensions spiked earlier this year when the Indian military conducted airstrikes in the region in response to an attack orchestrated by a terrorist group based on the Pakistani side of Kashmir. 2G mobile internet was also restored to five districts.

The committee headed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi comprises ISI chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, ISPR DG Major General Asif Ghafoor, Law Minister Farogh Nasim, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, parliamentary committee on Kashmir chairperson Fakhar Imam and Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan.

Addressing the press conference, Qureshi said the meeting of the country's top brass chose to set up special Kashmir Cell in the ministry of foreign affairs. About 200 famous people from civil society and human rights activists have signed a petition demanding the Indian government to undo the coercive steps in IHK, he said, adding that Indian Supreme Court has also been approached in this regard. "The Indian aggression and designs are a threat to Pakistan's borders and the LoC but our armed forces are always ready to face all such challenges", he said, adding that the nation has full confidence in the armed forces and their professional capabilities.

The Pakistan government will hold a high-level meeting at 11 AM today, a day after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) refused to take up the ongoing Kashmir matter and endorse its stand on the issue.

The White House said Trump conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Khan welcomed the Security Council meeting, saying on Twitter that "addressing the suffering of the Kashmiri people and ensuring resolution of the dispute is the responsibility of this world body". Half of the region's exchanges are expected to be in service by Sunday, he said.

Kashmiri Muslims shout pro-freedom slogans at a demonstration after Friday prayers during curfew like restrictions in Srinagar, India.

United States President's offer to mediate between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue is off the table with Donald Trump asking Islamabad to resolve issues bilaterally with New Delhi. One of the revisions allows anyone to buy land in Indian-controlled Kashmir, which some Kashmiris fear could change the region's culture and demographics. Refusal of UNSC president Ms Joanna Wronecka to formally entertain Islamabad's request for intervention highlights the fact that the global community respects India's stand on Kashmir. Except China which has a transactional relationship with Pakistan, no country with significant clout has come forward to support Pakistan.

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