China urges Indo-Pak dialogue as Pak foreign minister arrives in Beijing
Beijing, Aug 09: China on Friday called on India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiation as Pakistan Foreign Minister arrived in Beijing to seek China's support after New Delhi revoked Article 370 giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Informed sources in Beijing told news agency Press Trust of India that Shah Mahmood Quresh is in Beijing to seek China's support for Pakistan's efforts to ratchet-up the Kashmir issue.
Lijian Zhao, a senior Chinese diplomat in Pakistan, wrote on Twitter that Shah Mehmood Qureshi would meet State Counsellor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi and other Chinese leaders. "The visit was arranged in a very short time. That's why we are called iron brothers," he wrote.
Earlier this week, India revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories by amending the Constitution by a Presidential Order and introducing a bill in Parliament, both of which are India's sovereign right.
Pakistan however, termed the Indian action as "illegal", and said it will take the matter to the UN Security Council.
Pakistan also decided to unilaterally downgrade diplomatic relations by expelling the Indian High Commissioner and recalling its own top envoy from India. In a statement India said, "The intention behind these measures is obviously to present an alarming picture to the world of our bilateral ties."
Reacting to questions about Pakistan's decision to downgrade the diplomatic ties and approach the UN Security Council, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, "China has noted the relevant statement by Pakistan".
"We call on Pakistan and India to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and jointly uphold regional peace and stability," it said in a written response circulated to the media in Beijing.
"The pressing priority is that the relevant party should stop unilaterally changing the status quo and avoid escalation of tension," China said without directly referring to India's decision to revoke article 370.
China on August 6 objected to the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory by India.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi's visit comes ahead of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's three-day visit to Beijing starting August 11 during which he is scheduled to hold wide-ranging talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
His visit, the first by an Indian minister to China after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government commenced its second term, has been scheduled earlier.
Both Jaishankar and Mr Wang would hold the 2nd India-China People-to-People exchange mechanism and address the 4th India-China Media Summit Forum on August 12.