Dhaka, Bangladesh
Pak to move int'l court, Trump repeats mediation offer

Resolving J-K dispute

Pak to move int'l court, Trump repeats mediation offer

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: Pakistan has said it will take the Kashmir dispute to the International Court of Justice. The move comes after India revoked the special autonomous status of the part of Kashmir that it administers, reports BBC. Pakistan reacted to that decision by cutting trade and transport links, and expelling India's ambassador. Kashmir - which both countries claim in full but rule in part - has been the site of decades of sporadic conflict. "We have decided to take the Kashmir case to the International Court of Justice," Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told ARY News TV on Tuesday. "The decision was taken after considering all legal aspects." He added that the case would centre on alleged human rights violations by India - which it denies - in Muslim-majority Kashmir. The BBC meets some protesters who were injured allegedly at the hands of Kashmir's security forces. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a phone call that the issue was one for India and Pakistan to resolve between themselves, through dialogue. French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss Kashmir with Mr Modi when they meet in Paris this week, a French official said on Tuesday. Kashmir is a Himalayan territory disputed by India and Pakistan. Each country controls part of the territory and the Indian-administered side - Jammu and Kashmir - used to have special status. But Article 370, the constitutional provision granting Indian-administered Kashmir its special status, was revoked earlier this month. The area has now been downgraded from a federal state and split into two union territories ruled by Delhi. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday yet again put forth the proposal of mediation by him on the current Kashmir issue. The offer comes a few hours after a senior official from White House asserted that Trump administration in not looking into being an arbitrator in the Kashmir issue. The statement added that Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is India's internal matter. Trump was speaking at an interview with NBC News in Washington when he picked up the topic again. Stating that Kashmir is a "complicated situation" going on for decades with religion in between, U.S. President Trump suggested that he is upto mediation if necessary. Earlier last week, after repeated mediation offer, Trump had confirmed that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad and it is best if the neighbouring nations should work on the peace accord to bring peace into the area. Nevertheless, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday during a telephonic interaction with Trump had requested White House to intervene in the Kashmir matter to find a solution. Trump's remarks today came in the backdrop of New Delhi's historic decision to change the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. The offer of mediation on Kashmir was placed on the table by Trump even before India decided to revoke the special status of J&K. After New Delhi's move on August 4, to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories, Pakistan has approached various international forums raising concerns on India's stand. Along with Pakistan, China had raised concerns over the reorganisation of J&K's border and revocation of special status. Meanwhile, India stood its ground and clarified at the recent United Nations Security Council closed-consultation that Kashmir is the country's internal matter. New Delhi had repeatedly rejected any offer of mediation from the U.S. so far. The U.S. President and Indian Prime Minister are expected to hold a discussion on the matter again next week at the backdrop of G7 Summit in France.

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