New Delhi: Pakistan said on Tuesday that it would approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over India’s decision to revoke Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. According to Pakistan media, the country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told ARY News TV that “an in-principle decision has been taken to take the issue of Kashmir to the International Court of Justice.”
Tension between India and Pakistan has escalated ever since the former abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and also bifurcated it into two Union Territories; Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Pakistan’s latest move comes days after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held a closed-door consultation on Kashmir although there were no statements afterwards. In fact, no UNSC member, except China, commented on the meeting later.
The United Kingdom had to clarify that it did not back China or Pakistan during the UNSC meeting. The UK neither took sides in the meeting nor did it support China against India as their long-standing position is that Kashmir should be bilaterally resolved between India and Pakistan. Officials said that it was China, which, as a permanent member, called for the meeting and London did not have any involvement in the same.
Soon after, India said, as it has on earlier occasions, that the revocation of J&K’s special status was “an internal matter and that these have no external ramifications”. India had also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and told Islamabad to “stop terror to start talks”.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to US President Donald Trump over the telephone where is reported to have told POTUS that “extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence” by certain leaders in the region was “not conducive to peace”. The PM did not take names, he was clearly hinting at Pakistan PM Imran Khan who has, in the past two weeks since Article 370 was revoked, tried all his might to get international support for his anti-India drive.
Earlier this month, Khan had told his country’s Parliament that he will raise the Kashmir issue at every forum, including the UN Security Council, and also take the matter to the ICJ.
On its part, India has been speaking to world leaders to clarify its stand. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday spoke to his US counterpart, Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper, about the United States’ involvement in the Kashmir issue. In the telephonic conversation, Singh reportedly asserted that Article 370 and all matters surrounding it were India’s “internal matter”.
Following the conversation, Esper agreed with India’s stand and reaffirmed the US’ position on the Kashmir situation, stating that the issue must be resolved bilaterally.