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Pakistani top diplomat updates counterparts on Kashmir

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Pakistani foreign minister on Tuesday discussed the deteriorating situation in disputed Jammu and Kashmir with top diplomats from several Muslim nations. reports citing Anadolu Agency.

In separate telephone conversations with his Turkish, Iranian and Bangladeshi counterparts, Shah Mehmood Qureshi brought the latest situation in the Indian-administered Kashmir forefront, according to his office.

During his talk with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu -- second time over the last week --, Qureshi apprised him of "gross human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir, and escalating instability in the region", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The massive security lockdown since Aug. 5 had caused an acute shortage of food, medicines, and other basic necessities of life in the picturesque Himalayan valley, Qureshi told Cavusoglu.

"The unarmed Kashmiri Muslims have been looking towards the international community, mainly the Muslim world [to put pressure on India]", the statement added.

Noting Turkey's role for unity among Muslim countries, Qureshi once again thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for supporting his country's stance in the current crisis and raising voice in support of Kashmiris at all forums.

He also stressed that the two countries shared similar views on many regional and international issues, and they had supported each other in hard times.

The two foreign ministers agreed to continue the bilateral discussions on Kashmir, and to meet during the UN General Assembly session next month.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in his conversation with Islamabad's top diplomat, expressed his "deep concern" over current crisis in Jammu Kashmir cautioning that these steps would add to already heightening tensions in the region, Pakistani foreign ministry said in another statement.

Qureshi briefed his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen on the "illegal and unilateral actions of India" to alter the status of Jammu and Kashmir, which was in "contravention of the international law and UNSC [UN Security Council] resolutions", said the ministry in a third statement.

"The foreign minister highlighted continuously deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including severe shortage of food and lifesaving medicines, communications blackout and complete lock-down for the last 30 days.

"The Bangladeshi foreign minister emphasized the importance of resolving disputes through dialogue and discussions. The two ministers agreed to remain in contact," the statement read.

Jammu and Kashmir is under near-complete lockdown since Aug. 5 when India scrapped the special provisions, according to several rights group, including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

India blocked communications and imposed strict restrictions to thwart any rebellion while political leaders in the region have been detained as the right groups repeatedly called on New Delhi to lift the restrictions and release political detainees.

From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir had special provisions under which it enacted its own laws. The provisions also protected the region's citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir in 1947 and 1965.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

2019.09.03 / 19:11
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