Beijing, March 5 (newsin.asia): China supports Russia’s initiative to act as a diplomatic intermediary between India and Pakistan to de-escalate the situation between the two countries and is itself facilitating dialogue between India and Pakistan, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said at Monday’s briefing.
Here is the verbatim extract from the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website:
Q: Pakistani media have been reporting that according to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a special envoy from China will be visiting both Pakistan and India to help defuse tensions between the two countries. Does China have any comment? There are also reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has proposed that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) mechanism can be a forum where this issue can be discussed. Would you agree with the Russian view?
A: On your first question, we have said many times that we hope that India and Pakistan, as two important countries in South Asia, will enjoy good neighborliness and friendship and resolve their issues through friendly consultations. I have said that in order to alleviate recent tensions between India and Pakistan, China is in close communication with both to facilitate reconciliation and dialogue. China will continue to play a constructive role in its own way in whatever that will help ease the situation and promote regional peace and stability.
As for your second question, I have seen relevant reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed to do something under the SCO mechanism. Our principled position is that we encourage all constructive efforts towards easing tensions and promoting peace and stability in the region by relevant parties of the international community.
Russia Today Adds:
The escalation of tensions in relations between Pakistan and India was caused by an attack on an Indian military car convoy in the Jammu and Kashmir state on February 14, which killed 45 people. The Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which is located on Pakistani territory, claimed responsibility for the attack. On Tuesday, India carried out an air strike on this group’s camp in the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan. On Wednesday, the Pakistan Air Force hit India’s military installations in response. New Delhi and Islamabad stated that they downed each other’s place during the air fight.
On March 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday that Moscow is ready to support the de-escalation between Islamabad and New Delhi.
The situation in Jammu and Kashmir – the only Indian state where Muslims constitute a majority – has been tense for years. The territory of the ancient principality of Kashmir has been a matter of dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, when the British Raj received independence and was split into two states based on religion. To date, there is no state border in Kashmir: its territory is divided by the Line of Control. Groups that favor departure from India are being active in the Indian part. New Delhi blames Islamabad for supporting terrorists, but Pakistan refutes these statements.
(The featured image at the top is that of Lu Kang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman)