Imran Khan discusses Kashmir issue with Boris Johnson
London, Aug 9: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan used a telephone call to congratulate Boris Johnson this week on his appointment as Britain’s Prime Minister to raise the issue of Kashmir and the ongoing tensions around the Indian government's decision to revoke the state’s special status.
In reference to the conversation which took place on Wednesday, Downing Street said that the two leaders discussed the serious situation in the region and agreed on the importance of dialogue.
“The Prime Minister received a call from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan to congratulate him on his new role. The leaders discussed the serious situation in Kashmir and agreed on the importance of maintaining dialogue,” Downing Street said in a statement. “And they underlined their continued commitment to the bilateral relationship between the UK and Pakistan,” it added.
The UK government has previously expressed "concerns" over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after India on Monday revoked Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw the special status given to the state and bifurcated it into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
“We've expressed some of our concerns around the situation and called for calm, but also had a clear readout of the situation from the perspective of the Indian government,” said UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab, when asked about the issue during his visit to the US. In a previous statement, a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson had said that the UK was following developments closely and supported calls for the situation to remain calm.
The European Union (EU) has called on India and Pakistan to re-open dialogue through diplomatic channels in order to de-escalate tensions in Jammu and Kashmir. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, also reiterated the EU’s stance of continuing to back a "bilateral solution" between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.