China snubs Pak on Kashmir again, rejects reports of change in stance
For the second time in less than a week, China on Monday snubbed Pakistan by declining to back reports in Pakistani media, claiming Beijing's support to the country in the event of any aggression and backing it on the Kashmir issue.
As a "neighbour and friend", China has once again appealed to India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue to "properly" resolve disputes, including Kashmir, which it said was "left over from history", and jointly work towards regional peace and stability.
Asked about reported remarks by Pakistan Consul General in Lahore Yu Boren that China would support Pakistan against foreign aggression and backed Islamabad on the Kashmir issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang confirmed that he was not aware of any such comment made by the envoy. "I am not aware of the situation you mentioned. But China's position on the relevant issue is consistent and clear," he said.
"As the neighbour and friend to both Pakistan and India, we hope the two countries will properly address their differences through dialogue and consultation, manage and control the situation and jointly work for the peace and stability of South Asia and the growth of the region,” he said.
The official added: "With regard to Kashmir, we believe it is an issue left over from history. We hope the relevant parties will peacefully and properly resolve it through dialogue and consultation."
He was replying to a question about remarks attributed to Yu made during his meeting with Chief Minister of Pakistan's Punjab province Shahbaz Sharif.
"In case of any (foreign) aggression our country will extend its full support to Pakistan," Yu, Consul General of China in Lahore, was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the Punjab Chief Minister's Office, according to a report published in Pakistani daily Dawn. "We are and will be siding with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. There is no justification for atrocities on unarmed Kashmiris in (India)-held Kashmir and the Kashmir dispute should be solved in accordance with aspirations of the Kashmiris," the report had quoted Yu as saying.
However, China's reaction on Monday is the second time since September 22 that it has distanced itself from the Pakistani media, attributing Beijing's support to Pakistan on Kashmir. China has declined to confirm Beijing's backing Islamabad on the issue during the meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The two leaders "exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang had said when asked about reports that Li had extended support to Pakistan's stance on Kashmir.
Pak demands intl probe into Uri attack
Pakistan has demanded an independent international probe into the terror attack in Uri, dismissing India's allegations that militants from Pakistan were involved in it as “baseless”. Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz alleged that India always accused Pakistan without even conducting an investigation into the matter. "An independent international commission should be constituted to unearth the facts," BBC Urdu quoted Aziz as saying. "It is not the first time India has levelled baseless allegations against Pakistan," he said.
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