‘Nothing About Kashmir Can Be India’s Internal Matter’: Pakistan FM

Quite recently, making a ‘controversial’ comment on Article 370, calling it India’s internal matter, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday took a u-turn saying nothing about Kashmir can be India’s internal matter.

Article 370 India’s internal matter

During a television interview last week, Qureshi stated that the abrogation of Article 370 is India’s internal matter and that the progress has been challenged in the Indian Supreme Court.

“Article 370 is India’s internal matter. The citizens of Kashmir are telling that you had made a promise. It is their frustration. The undertaking is still pending in the Supreme Court, and people have challenged it,” he said in an interview.

“If you ask me, Article 370 is not important,” he had said. And when asked what is important for Pakistan, he replied, “Article 35A”.

“There has been a great response in Kashmir to the steps undertaken for 35A or 370 or the brutality forced there. But, today, there is a large section in India which accepts that they have lost more and gained less because of these steps,” he adds.

Article 35A, in the Constitution, was brought in 1954 by order of the President. This special status allowed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to establish permanent residents of the state, their special rights, and privileges.

Describing why Article 35A is important to Pakistan, Qureshi explained that India could try to restructure the demography of Kashmir.

“There is no option other than dialogue. Both are nuclear powers with prominent issues which need to be resolved either today, tomorrow, or the day after. War is not an option. War will be suicidal,” he added.

It is believed that Shah Mahmood Qureshi was heavily criticized in Pakistan after his statement made in the TV interview.

Taking a U-turn

To control the damage, on Monday, he took to his official Twitter handle and said, “Let me be clear: Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute on the @UN Security Council agenda. Final settlement of the dispute lies in #UNSC resolution calling for a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier said that Pakistan would not hold talks with India until New Delhi turns its decision to scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

“Unless India withdraws from the steps taken on August 5…, the Pakistani government will not talk to India at all,” Khan said while responding to questions.

After Imran Khan’s statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said- no talks were taking place with India. However, negotiations could be held in New Delhi to revisit its policy regarding Kashmir and provided assistance to the people of Kashmir.

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