New Delhi: Insisting that talks will only take place directly with Pakistan without the intervention of another nation, India has rejected China’s offer to mediate and help resolve the Kashmir issue.
China had said it was willing to play a “constructive role” in improving relations between India and Pakistan, especially after the increased hostility along the Line of Control, a border that divides the disputed Kashmir valley between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
However, talking to reporters on Thursday, a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs turned down China’s offer.
“We are ready to talk Kashmir with Pakistan, but no third party mediation,” Gopal Baglay said.
“Our stand is absolutely clear. You are aware that the heart of the matter is cross-border terrorism emanating from a particular country that threatens peace and stability in the country, region, and the world.”
“India and Pakistan are important South Asian countries but the situation in Kashmir has attracted the attention of the international community,” said Geng Shuang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.
The comment came at a time when India and China are conflicting over the construction of a road in the Doklam area near the Sikkim state of India.
“The Country’s government believed in resolving all issues through dialogue,” said Pakistan’s Foreign Office.
“The UN chief, the US president, the Chinese leadership and others have offered to play a role in resolving the Kashmir issue,” said the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is administered by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Out of the three wars between India and Pakistan, since Independence from British rule in 1947, two of those wars have been over Kashmir. More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989