The European Union (EU) has called for the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan while urging India to restore the rights and freedom of the people of Kashmir, which remain suspended since India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution that stripped the occupied territory of its semi-autonomous status.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who met India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Brussels on Friday, stressed on the need to "restore the rights and freedoms of the Kashmir population", according to the Press Trust of India.
The statement came ahead of a European Parliament meeting on the situation on Monday as concerns grow over the deteriorating human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Members of the European Parliament have filed questions over the past few weeks on Kashmir, which will be taken up when the parliament reopens after a six-week recess.
Later, Jaishankar, while speaking to Politico magazine, ruled out any possibility of relaunching bilateral talks with Pakistan. He also claimed that a military escalation between the nuclear powers was imminent unless global powers intervene in the matter.
The Indian minister also reiterated Indian government’s claim that the communications blockade in Kashmir was necessary even if it meant inconveniencing the people to some extent.
A number of influential countries have started frantic efforts aimed at persuading Pakistan and India to open some channel of communications amid distressing signals that the two nuclear-armed neighbours may be on the path to a serious conflict.
Diplomatic sources with the knowledge of behind-the-scenes efforts say that the US and other powerful countries are in touch with Islamabad and New Delhi with the sole purpose of defusing the brewing tensions triggered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision on August 5 to illegally annex the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
But unlike the past, this time Pakistan has put forward certain preconditions before entering into any engagements with India, with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi telling reporters on Sunday that those preconditions include immediate lifting of curfew and release of all Kashmiri political leaders in the occupied territory.
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