France on Tuesday asked India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute through bilateral political dialogue, reported PTI. Calling it a bilateral matter, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said both New Delhi and Islamabad should refrain from taking any step that will escalate tensions.

Drian’s remarks came after he and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed the situation in Kashmir over phone. According to Pakistan’s Foreign Office, Qureshi expressed hope that France, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, would play its due role to ensure peace and stability in the region. “The two leaders agreed to remain in contact and continue to work together for peace and stability in the region,” the foreign office said.

The United Nations Security Council had held a “closed-door” meeting on August 16 to discuss the developments in Jammu and Kashmir. It ended without any outcome or statement from the council. India has played down the significance of the meeting, and called the lack of evident support for Pakistan at the UNSC meeting a snub to its stand on Kashmir.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5. As a mark of protest, Pakistan had earlier this month downgraded diplomatic ties with India and stopped cross-border trade. It also halted the operations of the Samjhauta Express on its side. On Tuesday, Qureshi said Pakistan will approach the International Court of Justice.

India has maintained that revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was an internal matter.

Revoking J&K’s special status India’s internal matter: Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Tuesday said that revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was India’s internal matter, reported PTI. “Bangladesh has always advocated, as a matter of principle, that maintaining regional peace and stability, as well as development should be a priority for all countries,” the country’s foreign office said. The statement came a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with the country’s top leadership, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.