Russia firmly with India on J&K

Indiatimesworld News Service
Newd Delhi, August 10

Russia is the sole P-5 power to unequivocally back India’s move on Jammu & Kashmir. Of the other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the US position too gives comfort to India as it has termed the abrogation of Article 370 and J&K’s reorganisation India’s internal matter.

Britain is waiting for the situation to unfold like France, which too has issued no statement so far. China wants both Pakistan and India to handle the situation responsibly while offering “firm support” to Pakistan in “safeguarding its legitimate rights and uphold fairness for Pakistan in international affairs’’.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement today, said India’s move on J&K was “within the framework of the Indian Constitution’’ and hoped India-Pakistan differences would be resolved bilaterally on the basis of the Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration. It made no mention of the UN resolutions. Russia has vetoed resolutions against India on Goa and J&K during the 50s and the 60s.

The US said there was no change in its policy on Kashmir which calls upon both countries to decide on the pace and scope of talks on the issue. US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said India’s decision to revoke Article 370 was its “internal matter’’ and reiterated the call for direct talks between India and Pakistan. 

China had earlier taken umbrage to India reorganising Ladakh into a Union Territory. After a meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, its Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Kashmir issue was a dispute born of the region’s colonial history and should be handled in a peaceful way in line with the UN Charter, resolutions of the UN Security Council and bilateral agreements. 

He asked both sides to “break the zero-sum mindset’’ which translates into opposing their approach of not making any concessions to the other side. Ominously, Wang said China would continue to “firmly support Pakistan in safeguarding its legitimate rights and uphold fairness for Pakistan in international affairs”.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke with his counterpart S Jaishankar. He later said the UK expressed its concerns and received clarity on India’s stand. Fifth P-5 member France has been mum. It  had earlier criticised the ‘destabilising’ actions against India by terror groups using the Kashmir dispute as a pretext.

It was life as usual in Jammu today with prohibitory orders lifted in five districts and relaxed in Doda, Kishtwar and Rajouri districts in view of Eid. Schools and colleges reopened in five districts. In Rajouri, the restrictions were relaxed for two hours from 4pm. There was a rush at chemist shops. In Kishtwar, the restrictions were relaxed for an hour in phases and also in Bhaderwah.

SC moved on art 370

New Delhi: The National Conference has moved the SC, challenging abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and sought a declaration that the Presidential Order and decision to bifurcate the state into two UTs were “unconstitutional, void and inoperative”.

Land rights 

Jammu: Yuva Rajput Sabha and Dogra Sadra Sabha say they should have been consulted by the Centre on Article 370. Afraid of losing land rights, the Rajputs and Dogras favour “a domicile-like option” on the pattern of HP. Also, they want separate statehood for Jammu. The state BJP unit has hinted that the Centre is already exploring options to protect the rights of locals.

Media plea

New Delhi: Kashmir Times moved the top court on Saturday seeking removal of restrictions imposed on journalists in the trouble-torn state. The paper demanded restoration of all modes of communication, including mobile, Internet and landline services, to enable journalists to practise their profession and sought guidelines to ensure that the rights of mediapersons were not unreasonably curtailed.

Valley curbs eased

Srinagar: Restrictions in most areas of the Kashmir valley were eased to allow people to shop for Eid. But there was little movement on roads. A few grocery, bakery, meat and sweet shops opened in Srinagar. The authorities may lift the communication blockade to help locals celebrate Eid.

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