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Imran Khan dials Saudi Prince after India's diplomatic masterstroke


Islamabad, Aug 27: A day after US President Donald Trump made it clear that he would not be mediating the Kashmir issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called the Saudi Arabia's Prince over the issue. Khan had in an address to nation earlier had exuded confidence that the Muslim countries would support Pakistan in the Kashmir issue.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Ever since the BJP-led Centre repealed Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has been trying to garner international support. Khan has approached several countries objecting the India's decision.

Last week, China, on the insistence of Pakistan, had called for UNSC meeting to discuss Kashmir. Countries, by and large, agreed that it was a bilateral issue. Even during PM Modi's meeting with Trump yesterday on the sidelines of G7 summit, the US President said that it was an issue between two countries.

['It's within Indian Constitution': Russia backs govt's move on Article 370]

Khan in his previous address to the nation said that Pakistan would morally and politically support what it calls Kashmir struggle.

Why Article 370 is a diplomatic masterstroke?

On August 5, when the government took everyone by surprise and announced the revocation of Article 370, some opined that the decision may draw international condemnation.

But, what transpired, was perhaps, not what many anticipated. Other than Pakistan, which strongly criticised the scrapping of J&K's special status, no other major superpower seemed to view it as what some portrayed as 'violation' of international law.

It was by and large accepted that India's decision was an internal one and that New Delhi was well within its rights to take such a decision. The United States' muted response came as a slap on Pakistan's face especially when it has hardly been a month since Imran Khan returned from his Washington visit. What needs to be marvelled is Modi government's work on the diplomatic front before taking such a massive step.

Reports also say that in February, two days after the Pulwama attack, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had phoned his American counterpart John Bolton and told him about the Modi government's plans to do away with the 'special status' for Jammu and Kashmir.

US, UK, Germany, Australia and Israel all issued advisories (based on Indian government briefings) asking their citizens in Kashmir to leave.This clearly indicates that they knew what was coming. As far as Britain is concerned, it is badly tangled in Brexit and taking sides over Kashmir, which is thousands of kms away, when it desperately seeks alternative partnerships in Europe, its immediate neighbourhood, may leave the voters irked.

China has issued a statement or two but largely distanced itself from the matter. China's oppression in Tibet and Xinjiang are something that Beijing would not want to be discussed. If China pokes it nose too much, India can always rake up Tibet and Xinjiang human rights violations. For Russia, India is the biggest weapons buyer and both countries have shared good ties over last 50-60 years, so Moscow will definitely not take an anti-India stand.

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