Imran, Trump discuss Kashmir issue on phone
Islamabad, Aug 16 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday spoke with US President Donald Trump on the telephone about the Kashmir situation.
"The Prime Minister presented Pakistan's stance to US President Trump. The Prime Minister was engaging with world leaders and spoke to President Trump on the situation in the region, especially in occupied Kashmir," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a televised address.
"Pakistan's reservations on the danger to peace in the region were conveyed," he added.
Tensions have escalated between New Delhi and Islamabad following India's decision to revoke Article 370 of its Constitution which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
According to Qureshi, Khan had spoken with four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the situation in Kashmir.
"Pakistan had presented its stance to the Prime Minister of Britain, President Trump, Foreign Minister of Russia. We have had direct contact with four of the five P-5 members. They are aware of Pakistan's stance. We are trying to have Prime Minister Imran Khan speak to the President of France," Qureshi added.
The conversation between Khan and Trump came ahead of the UNSC's behind-closed-doors meeting on Kashmir. Despite intense lobbying, Islamabad was dealt a diplomatic setback with the UNSC declining to hold a formal session on the issue with its participation, and instead scheduling a closed-door consultation on "India/Pakistan" at China's insistence.
Pakistan had asked for a full-fledged meeting of the Council at which it could speak on New Delhi's decision to revoke special status to Jammu and Kashmir and about alleged human rights abuses in the region.
The format of the Council meeting as a closed-door consultation would preclude non-members participating and the proceedings would be secret, without official written records or access to the media or being broadcast.
Qureshi said that Khan and Trump also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and decided to stay in touch consistently.
"The role we have played is for the betterment of the region, Pakistan and Afghanistan. We will continue to take such steps," said Qureshi.