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Friday January 27, 2023

German foreign minister calls for UN role to resolve Kashmir dispute

October 09, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (L) during joint press conference with German counterpart Annalena Baerbock
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (L) during joint press conference with German counterpart Annalena Baerbock

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday achieved a major diplomatic win in Germany when probably for the first time, a European foreign minister called for the United Nations’ role to solve the Kashmir dispute.

The development came to the fore at a joint press conference held by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock when a question was raised about the role Germany could play to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Even the Pakistanis present at the German Foreign Office were pleasantly surprised by the remarks of Ms Baerbock hoping it becomes a settled German foreign policy. “Germany also has a role and responsibility with regard to the situation in Kashmir. Therefore, we support intensively the engagement of the United Nations, to find peaceful resolutions in the region,” said Ms Baerbock.

Foreign Minister Bilawal, while commenting on disputes worldwide and in the region, also commented on the Kashmir dispute. “We will continue to raise the issue of Indian-Occupied Kashmir. We believe that international law should apply everywhere, and the UN resolution should be respected everywhere,“ he said.

The credit for the change should be given to Pakistan’s ambassador to Germany, Dr Mohammad Faisal who with the Foreign Office coordinated the visit of the foreign minister and created an awareness about the Kashmir dispute and the plight of Kashmiris in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the Indian spokesman at the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi, commenting on the remarks of the two foreign ministers in Germany, remarked, “All serious and conscientious members of the global community have a role and responsibility to call out international terrorism, especially of a cross border nature.”

Earlier, on Friday the Indian spokesman had objected to the visit of the US Ambassador in Islamabad, Donald Blome to Azad Kashmir (AJK), pointing out that this visit could have been avoided and that the term AJK should not have been used. However, Washington has ignored India’s objections.

Meanwhile, Michael Kugelman, South Asia Institute Director at the Wilson Center, commenting on the visit of the US ambassador to AJK, said, “Think of it as a goodwill gesture to Pakistan. The USG isn’t about to change its position on the Kashmir issue. A visit to Pak-administered Kashmir, focused on non-security cooperation (US has funded projects there) is a more palatable move & builds on new momentum in bilateral ties.”

He tweeted that it should not be assumed that this visit has anything to do with India’s continued relationship with Russia and position on the Ukraine conflict. “It doesn’t. It has to do with surges in momentum in non-security US-Pak relations, and a US desire to signify its desire to keep moving them forward,” he added.

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