Pakistan and China on Sunday said the Kashmir dispute needed to be resolved through talks even as Beijing reiterated its support to safeguarding Islamabad’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national dignity, reported The Express Tribune. The statement came two days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said the Indian government’s decision to remove Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status had challenged Islamabad’s “security and integrity”.

Islamabad and Beijing issued a joint press release after talks between the two sides during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to the country. “Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality,” the statement said.

China said it was closing monitoring the situation in the region, and was opposed to unilateral actions that would complicate matters. It said the Kashmir dispute should be resolved peacefully based on the United Nations Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

India and Pakistan have engaged in a war of words ever since Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked on August 5. Islamabad retaliated by suspending bilateral trade and downgrading ties with New Delhi. It has raised the matter at the United Nations Security Council, and threatened take it to the UN Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice as well.

India has maintained its decisions are its internal matter. On Friday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said most countries viewed the Kashmir matter the same way.

Wang has met Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi. Khan said the restrictions in Kashmir, including a communications blockade, had created “a dire humanitarian situation”.

Islamabad and Beijing reiterated that the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two countries was an anchor of peace and stability in the region and beyond. “This partnership remains unaffected by any adverse regional and international development and continues to move from strength to strength,” the statement read. China and Pakistan welcomed the progress of negotiations between the Afghan-Taliban and the United States, and urged for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Jammu and Kashmir largest prison  in the world: Islamabad

Meanwhile, Pakistan “categorically rejected” India’s claims that normalcy was returning in Jammu and Kashmir, reported Dawn. The Foreign Office said Kashmir was still under a lockdown while local leaders remained under house arrest.

“Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir continues to be the largest prison in the world with the heaviest deployment of Indian occupation forces since the coercive, unilateral and illegal Indian actions of August 5, 2019, aimed at altering the internationally recognised disputed status of IOJ&K and changing its demographic structure to preempt the results of a UN plebiscite,” it said in a press release.

The prohibitory orders in Kashmir are being lifted gradually but the communications blockade remains in place in many parts.

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