Pakistan, China discuss Kashmir issue; underline need to settle disputes through dialogue
Islamabad, Sep. 8 (PTI): Pakistan and China on Sunday discussed the Kashmir issue and underlined the need to settle disputes in the region through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality, as Beijing reaffirmed its support for its all-weather ally in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In a joint press release issued at the conclusion of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Pakistan, the two countries emphasised that their all-weather strategic ties would remain unaffected by any regional or international situation.
Wang’s visit to Pakistan took place amidst fresh Indo-Pak tensions after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.
The two sides underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all parties. “Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality,” the statement said.
Pakistan and China exchanged views on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation, including its concerns, position, and “urgent humanitarian issues”.
The Chinese side responded that it was paying close attention to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation, according to the statement.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter of the country and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. During his visit to Beijing last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang that the legislation passed by the Indian Parliament on Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter for India.
According to the joint press statement, Beijing reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national dignity, in choosing its development path in light of its national conditions, in working for a better external security environment, and in playing a more constructive role in regional and international issues.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation on the Afghanistan issue and support the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ peace and reconciliation process.
Wang during his stay called on President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also held talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
During the meetings, both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They reiterated that the “time-tested all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan is an anchor of peace and stability in the region and beyond.”
They agreed to maintain frequent mutual visits and meetings at the leadership level and continue to hold bilateral meetings between their leaders on multilateral occasions.
“China and Pakistan have enjoyed mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s core interests,” the statement said.
They resolved to implement consensus reached by the leadership of both countries to enhance strategic mutual trust and improve all-round cooperation so as to jointly promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.
Both sides believed that the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as a pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative, has entered a new phase of high-quality development.
The two sides agreed to continue to firmly push forward the construction of CPEC and complete its ongoing projects in a timely manner.
Both sides expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation between the two countries at multilateral fora and resolved to deepen strategic coordination and consultation and reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support for multilateralism, free trade and win-win cooperation. The two countries welcomed the positive progress achieved in the negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the US, and called on all Afghan political stake-holders, including the Afghan Taliban, to start intra-Afghan negotiations to form a future political structure acceptable to all parties and achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan at an early date.